Pedestrian Accidents Disproportionately Affect Low-Income Areas
The number of traffic collisions involving pedestrians in Los Angeles has spiked nearly 35 percent over the last five years, from 2011 to 2015. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Daily News, the San Fernando Valley has particularly seen a rise in pedestrian accidents – a 25 percent increase from 714 pedestrian collisions in 2011 to 884 in 2015. The Valley in particular has seen an increase in pedestrian traffic collisions every year since 2011 except last year when it stayed nearly the same, the data show.
Part of the increase can be attributed to fewer cars being on the road in 2011 as a result of the recession, transportation officials said. However, the deaths last month of at least four pedestrians in the San Fernando Valley renewed concerns about dangers to pedestrians in the region. On April 30, an out-of-control car fatally injured a 63-year-old grandmother as she walked on a sidewalk with her family in their North Hollywood neighborhood.
Deadliest Intersections for Pedestrians
On April 11, a 69-year-old woman, her 31-year-old daughter and their dog were all killed when they were struck in a West Hills crosswalk. Each year, the Valley sees an average of 28 deadly pedestrian accidents. Van Nuys and North Hollywood had the most fatal pedestrian accidents in the five-year period followed by West Valley, Mission and Topanga. Officials also listed six deadly intersections that accounted for the most number of fatal pedestrian collisions. According to the Daily News, they are as follows:
• Victory Boulevard and Platt Avenue in West Hills
• Nordhoff Street and Wakefield Avenue in Panorama City
• Van Nuys Boulevard and Canterbury Avenue in Arleta
• Cahuenga Boulevard and Lankershim Boulevard in Studio City
• Victory Boulevard and Sylmar Avenue in Van Nuys
• Victory Boulevard and Coldwater Canyon in Valley Glen
Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents
Cities and governmental agencies have a responsibility to ensure that their roadways and intersections are safe for drivers and pedestrians. At the same time, both drivers and pedestrians have a responsibility to avoid these collisions. Here are a few tips for drivers and pedestrians:
• Do not drive or walk distracted. Put away your cell phones or iPods when you’re on the road. Be aware of your surroundings.
• Pedestrians should walk only in areas designated for walking such as crosswalks and sidewalks.
• Drivers should always observe the speed limit. Studies repeatedly show and common sense tells us that the higher the vehicle speed, the more likely that the injuries would be catastrophic or fatal.
• California Vehicle Code requires that motorists yield the right of way to pedestrians who are walking in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact an experienced Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney who can stay abreast of the investigation and ensure that your legal rights and best interests are protected.