A long overdue report has just been released by the San Diego City Auditor, giving details of 18 recommendations on how the City can improve pedestrian safety and save lives. It just so happens that this report coincides with 4 pedestrian fatalities and injuries in just the past 5 weeks, all of which were hit and run events.
In the fourteen years from 2001 to 2015, more than 270 pedestrians lost their lives due to accidents with vehicles and 8,000 suffered injuries. From 2013-2015, which were particularly bad years, 66 pedestrians lost their lives, while 2,000 were involved in accidents.
The report indicated that such dramatic events changed the lives for families forever. The economic costs alone were staggering, with the two worst years’ costs exceeding $134 million. The financial cost on the quality of life for families affected by a pedestrian accident reached an estimate that exceeded $1 billion.
Vision Zero: A Pedestrian Safety Initiative
Vision Zero is a City Council initiative that began in 2015, based on the idea that all pedestrian accidents were preventable if certain measures were taken, including infrastructural improvements, education and enforcement. Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the aim of Vision Zero is to prevent all traffic related fatalities by 2025.
Since Vision Zero’s commencement, data has been examined closely. The findings indicate that the majority of crashes involving pedestrians happened at intersections. 3% of the intersections encountered 8 repeat accident events, while 9% had five repeat crash events. Intersections where safety improvements were made experienced up to a35% decrease in crashes. Apart from these improvements made at intersections there are methods that the council intends to use that will prevent dangerous driving, such as awareness programs targeting issues affecting pedestrian safety.
On the 29th September a Vision Zero Neighborhood Symposium took place, emphasizing traffic safety, street design, public health and law enforcement as a means of addressing the high pedestrian accident rate.
San Diego Pedestrian Deaths are Double the National Average
The 4.9 fatalities per 100,000 people were said to be double the national average according to Department of Transport figures for 2011. Along with the announcement of San Diego’s alarming accident rate for pedestrians there have been plans drawn up to target improvements for pedestrians in 22 cities affected by the problem which includes San Diego where 11 deaths of pedestrians have occurred just in the first 3 months of this year.
Just 3 weeks ago, a woman aged 66 made an attempt at crossing Clairemont Mesa Boulevard in the absence of a crosswalk and other safeguards for pedestrians. The report further emphasized that pedestrians think they are given priority on road sides when crossing but in truth pedestrian’s rights are solely related to the presence of crosswalks and traffic signals.
San Diego has started the ball rolling on the issue by having a larger police presence in more heavily congested areas like Hillcrest and downtown. But the issue is not just about pedestrians. It’s about the behavior of drivers as well, such as not texting while driving and other common driver distractions these days.
A Personal Injury Lawyer is Needed in a Pedestrian Accident
If you’ve been injured in an accident as a pedestrian and it was not your fault, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim against the driver who was the cause of your injuries. Even if the accident did not happen at a crosswalk, this doesn’t mean you are to blame.
The only way you can be sure of gaining any sort of financial compensation is by arranging a free consultation with Robert Hamparyan at the Hamparyan Law Firm in San Diego. Robert Hamparyan is an experienced and highly successful personal injury lawyer, who will assess your situation and determine if you are likely to win a settlement if a personal injury claim is filed on your behalf.
Personal injury lawyers will check the availability of reliable witnesses and their statements, study medical reports and police statements before deciding where you stand. Once a decision is made to proceed with your claim, the lawyer will calculate a claim based on your medical costs, loss of earnings due to your injuries, pain and suffering encountered and non-economic damages which are called punitive damages and are recovered if the person who caused your accident behaved in an avoidable negligent manner.