Are Pedestrian Accidents on the Rise in San Luis Obispo?

Picture of pedestrian struck by a car

San Luis Obispo police are increasing efforts to enforce traffic in response to a rise in pedestrian and bicycle accidents across the city. According to Capt. Chris Staley of the San Luis Obispo Police Department, the past three years have seen at least one pedestrian accident every two months. But in the last six months, that number has jumped to about two accidents per month. Police are unsure what led to this sudden increase.

In the past three years, the police department has investigated 237 collisions involving pedestrians and bicycles. Most of these collisions occur in the denser parts of town, where traffic violations are more common. People are also more prone to being hit when crossing a street illegally in places like downtown.

In 2015, California was the state with the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities. A shocking 23 percent of motor vehicle fatalities were pedestrians, high above the national average. The majority of pedestrian accidents (70 percent) occurred at night and most of the victims were male. More than one-third of them had blood alcohol levels over the legal limit. In fact, almost half of all pedestrian accidents resulting in death involve alcohol in some way.

Nationwide, 5,376 pedestrians died in car crashes in 2015. That averages to one death every 1.6 hours. Almost 129,000 pedestrians were hospitalized for non-fatal crash-related injuries in the same year.

When it comes to pedestrian fatalities, speed is often a factor. Very few pedestrian fatalities occur when a car hits a person under 25 miles per hour. Age can also determine a person’s risk of fatality in a pedestrian accident. Adults over 65 made up 19 percent of all pedestrian deaths and 13 percent of all injuries in 2015. One in five children under 15 who died in traffic crashes were pedestrians.

If you or a loved one have suffered injury or died in a pedestrian accident, speak to our car accident attorneys.

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