Pedestrian Deaths In The United States Hit A 30-Year High

According to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian deaths in the United States hig a 30-year high. Moreover, California saw a jump in death rates much higher than the national average.

By the numbers, pedestrian deaths in California rose by 12% in the first half of 2019. The national average for increased pedestrian deaths per year is 3%. That means that California’s increase was four times higher than the national average.

What caused such an increase? Well, according to experts, it seems SUVs, drug use, alcohol use, cellphone use, and warmer weather are to blame.

The car accident attorneys here at Chain | Cohn | Stiles want to help solve this problem. So, we decided to dive into what’s causing the increase, and what’s the state is doing to help combat the problem.

What’s Causing The Problem?

As noted in the governors’ report, there are several reasons causing the increase in pedestrian accidents. However, the biggest problems cited included the following:

  • SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles)
  • Unsafe Road Crossings
  • Unsafe Driving Or Pedestrian Behavior

What’s California Doing To Combat The Problem?

Different cities across the state plan to reduce pedestrian dangers through initiatives involving education, community events, workshop events, and community safety presentations. Most of these countermeasures have started in cities and communities with higher numbers of pedestrian-related accidents.

Some of the coordinated efforts include organizations such as Safe Routes to School, and Vision Zero. The later works with community organizations to prevent accidents involving pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles.

Other things cited in the report include engineering improvements, and “using pedestrian warning signs, implementing high-visibility crosswalk markings, imposing parking restrictions to improve visibility and adjusting traffic signals at certain intersections to give pedestrians a head start before a vehicle turns.”

What Can You Do To Stay Safe On The Road?

What can you do to stay safe? Well, that depends on whether you’re a driver or pedestrian. Here’s a list of helpful tips to keep yourself safe, regardless if you’re behind the wheel or walking down the sidewalk:


  • Be predictable
  • Make yourself visible (bright clothes, reflectors, etc.)
  • Always make eye contact with drivers; never assume they see you
  • Keep watch for baking up cars
  • Never run out between cars into the street, even in parking lots
  • Look left-right-left before crossing any street
  • Never assume a green light or the “WALK” symbol means it’s safe to cross
  • Avoid distractions when possible
  • Walk facing oncoming traffic
  • Pay close attention to every driver around you


  • Be wary of pedestrians, especially in low-visibility conditions (night and bad weather)
  • Stay cautions when backing up
  • Sow down and prepare to stop whenever turning or entering an area where encountering pedestrians is more likely

If you or someone you know is injured in an accident at the fault of someone else, or injured on the job no matter whose fault it is, contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles by calling (661) 323-4000, or fill out a free consultation form here.