Dedicated to fighting for pedestrian accident victims in San Diego County

I have two law offices, one in San Diego and one in Solana Beach. My Solana Beach law office is right on Pacific Coast Highway 101 and I see bicyclists, walkers, and joggers all day enjoying this wonderful area.

In our wonderful area we unfortunately do see too a high incidence of pedestrian accidents, perhaps because of our active out-door lifestyle. San Diego has an ambitious transportation plan which will include a significant investment in improving bicycle and pedestrian facilities for the future. The numerous pedestrian accidents illustrates a real need to improve safety for pedestrians.

"CHULA VISTA – City engineers and police in Chula Vista have launched a pedestrian-safety campaign after a study found that almost 300 pedestrians had been hit by cars since 2003.

[…] In incidents involving cars, pedestrians were nearly always injured – even at slow speeds. A pedestrian hit by a vehicle traveling 20 mph usually suffers serious injuries and has a 15 percent chance of being killed, Gonzales said. When a vehicle is traveling at least 40 mph, the pedestrian's chance of being killed jumps to 85 percent, he said." [1]

Car accidents involving pedestrians too often cause serious injury and death. Pedestrian fatalities are even more common than bicycle fatalities. "Pedestrian fatalities accounted for 83 percent of all nonoccupant fatalities in 2008. The 716 pedalcyclist fatalities accounted for 14 percent, and the remaining 4 percent were skateboard riders, roller skaters, etc." Worldwide, pedestrian – car accidents are responsible for over a third of all auto accident related fatalities and injuries. [2]

Pedestrians are often hit even in crosswalks. "Drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing streets in marked or unmarked crosswalks in most situations. Pedestrian need to be especially careful at intersections where the failure to yield right-of-way often occurs when drivers are turning onto another street and a pedestrian is in their path." [2]

Children between ages 5 to 9 accounted for nearly 20% of pedestrian fatalities in 2008, according to the NHTSA and National Research Data. Furthermore, most children hit as pedestrians were hit after school in the hours between 3pm and 7pm. These findings are particularly troubling since these accidents are occurring during the day . We want our children to be more physically active, yet, our roadways are full of inherent dangers.

Some precautions should be followed such as walking on sidewalks whenever possible and walking or jogging toward oncoming traffic. According to the Department of Transportation this walking while facing traffic is safer for pedestrians.

Alcohol is too often involved in auto vs. pedestrian collisions. Frequently, the driver of the vehicle is under the influence of alchol and often the pedestrian is too. According to the NHTS, in 48% of pedestrian v. car accident fatalaties, either the car driver or the pedestrian was legally intoxicated.. Surprisingly, the incidence of legal intoxication with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher, is much more frequent in the pedestrian than the car driver, and of course, there are plenty of incidences where both the pedestrian and the car driver were legally intoxicated. [2]

Pedestrians often suffer extreme lower limb injuries from auto accidents, but head injuries are by far the most common cause of pedestrian – car accident fatalities. [3]

I work hard to make sure that San Diego County pedestrian accident victims know their legal rights. I offer free initial legal consultations and contingency fee agreements which means you will not owe any legal fees until you have won a monetary recovery. Please contact me for a free legal consultation even if you feel that you want to handle the case yourself.

CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL STATISTICS [4]

2008 SWITRS ALL California
3,401- Persons Killed
241,873 - Persons Injured
3,113 - Fatal Collisions
170,496 - Injury Collisions
1.04 - Mileage Death Rate

2008 San Diego County
Total Fatalities: 246
Total Injury: 13,527
Pedestrian Involved Fatalities: 63
Pedestrian Involved Injury: 998
Bicycle Involved Fatalities: 7
Bicycle Involved Injury: 959
Motorcycle* Involved Fatalities: 51
Motorcycle* Involved Injury: 1,081

These totals were comprised from cities and roadways within San Diego County including: Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, Oceanside, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach, Vista, Unincorporated, Unincorporated State Highways, County Roadways

2008 San Diego County Roadway Accidents By City

Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, Oceanside, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach, Vista, Unincorporated San Diego County, Unincorporated San Diego County State Highways, San Diego County Roadways

Carlsbad Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 5
Total Injury 441
Total Property Damage 524
Alcohol Involved Fatal 2
Alcohol Involved Injury 56
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 3
Pedestrian Involved Injury 25
Bicycle Involved Fatal 0
Bicycle Involved Injury 26
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 0
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 49

Chula Vista Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 14
Total Injury 749
Total Property Damage 646
Alcohol Involved Fatal 8
Alcohol Involved Injury 99
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 6
Pedestrian Involved Injury 58
Bicycle Involved Fatal 0
Bicycle Involved Injury 49
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 2
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 51

Coronado Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 0
Total Injury 101
Total Property Damage 72
Alcohol Involved Fatal 0
Alcohol Involved Injury 8
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 0
Pedestrian Involved Injury 7
Bicycle Involved Fatal 0
Bicycle Involved Injury 16
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 0
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 16

Del Mar Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 2
Total Injury 19
Total Property Damage 19
Alcohol Involved Fatal 2
Alcohol Involved Injury 4
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 1
Pedestrian Involved Injury 2
Bicycle Involved Fatal 0
Bicycle Involved Injury 5
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 0
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 1

El Cajon Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 9
Total Injury 555
Total Property Damage 376
Alcohol Involved Fatal 3
Alcohol Involved Injury 63
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 4
Pedestrian Involved Injury 43
Bicycle Involved Fatal 1
Bicycle Involved Injury 50
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 1
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 33

Encinitas Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 4
Total Injury 241
Total Property Damage 372
Alcohol Involved Fatal 2
Alcohol Involved Injury 30
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 1
Pedestrian Involved Injury 17
Bicycle Involved Fatal 0
Bicycle Involved Injury 20
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 1
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 25


Escondido Auto Accidents:

Total Fatal 10
Total Injury 732
Total Property Damage 225
Alcohol Involved Fatal 2
Alcohol Involved Injury 98
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 4
Pedestrian Involved Injury 55
Bicycle Involved Fatal 0
Bicycle Involved Injury 52
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 1
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 44

Imperial Beach Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 0
Total Injury 51
Total Property Damage 85
Alcohol Involved Fatal 0
Alcohol Involved Injury 9
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 0
Pedestrian Involved Injury 7
Bicycle Involved Fatal 0
Bicycle Involved Injury 8
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 0
s Motorcycle* Involved Injury 4

La Mesa Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 3
Total Injury 264
Total Property Damage 356
Alcohol Involved Fatal 1
Alcohol Involved Injury 35
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 1
Pedestrian Involved Injury 22
Bicycle Involved Fatal 0
Bicycle Involved Injury 16
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 0
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 16

Lemon Grove Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 1
Total Injury 73
Total Property Damage 97
Alcohol Involved Fatal 1
Alcohol Involved Injury 18
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 1
Pedestrian Involved Injury 5
Bicycle Involved Fatal 0
Bicycle Involved Injury 0
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 0
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 3

National City Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 3
Total Injury 232
Total Property Damage 259
Alcohol Involved Fatal 1
Alcohol Involved Injury 35
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 2
Pedestrian Involved Injury 29
Bicycle Involved Fatal 0
Bicycle Involved Injury 11
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 0
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 13

Oceanside Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 7
Total Injury 722
Total Property Damage 853
Alcohol Involved Fatal
Alcohol Involved Injury 107
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 2
Pedestrian Involved Injury 59
Bicycle Involved Fatal 0
Bicycle Involved Injury 57
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 1
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 81

Poway Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 4
Total Injury 136
Total Property Damage 223
Alcohol Involved Fatal 3
Alcohol Involved Injury 18
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 0
Pedestrian Involved Injury 2
Bicycle Involved Fatal 0
Bicycle Involved Injury 12
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 0
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 5

San Diego Auto Accidents: <
Total Fatal 81
Total Injury 6123
Total Property Damage 2787
Alcohol Involved Fatal 34
Alcohol Involved Injury 907
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 23
Pedestrian Involved Injury 533
Bicycle Involved Fatal 3
Bicycle Involved Injury 512
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 16
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 355

San Marcos Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 4
Total Injury 271
Total Property Damage 554
Alcohol Involved Fatal 3
Alcohol Involved Injury 51
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 0
Pedestrian Involved Injury 12
Bicycle Involved Fatal 0
Bicycle Involved Injury 11
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 1
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 16

Santee Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 2
Total Injury 167
Total Property Damage 275
Alcohol Involved Fatal 1
Alcohol Involved Injury 26
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 1
Pedestrian Involved Injury 9
Bicycle Involved Fatal 0
Bicycle Involved Injury 18
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 0
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 17

Solana Beach Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 0
Total Injury 50
Total Property Damage 92
Alcohol Involved Fatal 0
Alcohol Involved Injury 6
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 0
Pedestrian Involved Injury 0
Bicycle Involved Fatal 0
Bicycle Involved Injury 5
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 0
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 5

Vista Auto Accidents:<
Total Fatal 7
Total Injury 348
Total Property Damage 576
Alcohol Involved Fatal 4
Alcohol Involved Injury 55
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 1
Pedestrian Involved Injury 33
Bicycle Involved Fatal 1
Bicycle Involved Injury 16
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 1
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 23

Unincorporated San Diego County Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 90
Total Injury 2252
Total Property Damage 2737
Alcohol Involved Fatal 33
Alcohol Involved Injury 408
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 13
Pedestrian Involved Injury 80
Bicycle Involved Fatal 2
Bicycle Involved Injury 75
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 27
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 324s

Uninc. San Diego County State Highways Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 46
Total Injury 946
Total Property Damage 1022
Alcohol Involved Fatal 10
Alcohol Involved Injury 150
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 4
Pedestrian Involved Injury 9
Bicycle Involved Fatal 0
Bicycle Involved Injury 9
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 16
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 152

San Diego County Roadways Auto Accidents:
Total Fatal 44
Total Injury 1306
Total Property Damage 1715
Alcohol Involved Fatal 23
Alcohol Involved Injury 258
Pedestrian Involved Fatal 9
Pedestrian Involved Injury 71
Bicycle Involved Fatal 2
Bicycle Involved Injury 66
Motorcycle* Involved Fatal 11
Motorcycle* Involved Injury 172

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA AND BEYOND

Pedestrian and bicycle verses car accident fatalities and injuries are not just a USA or San Diego problem. In fact, we learn an immense amount about transportation, safety and road and car safety design improvements from transportation researchers around the world. For instance, the fully separated and buffered bicycle lanes were first implemented and researched in Europe before being adopted in New York City, Long Beach, with many other US cities implementing these improved bicycle facilities.

In addition, cars are also constantly researched with design improvements for the safety of pedestrian and bicycle, unprotected roadway users. These design improvement ideas include passive systems such as automatic braking and sensors, impact absorbing bumpers, additional mirrors and cameras on cars to help visibility and more.

Road crashes are the leading cause of death and hospital admission for people under the age of 45 years in the European Union. [….] Few road safety measures are better researched than those for safer car fronts to protect pedestrians and cyclists (p1145). This results from a 22 year old research and development programme coordinated by the European Enhanced Vehicle-safety Committee. The committee originally proposed car tests in 1991 and updated them in 1994 and 1998. These tests are an integrated package of four tests for impacts to parts of the body that are injured most often. The European new car assessment programme (www.euroncap.com) has already used the tests and provides information to consumers on the crash performance of new cars. None of the cars tested, however, has performed well enough to have passed the tests.5 Once the tests are adopted universally, it is estimated that up to 2000 lives and around 17000 serious injuries will be saved annually across the European Union—at an additional development cost of only €30 (£19, $28) a car. [5]

RESOURCES

1. originally appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune November 13, 2008 Safety on streets focus of campaign

Pedestrian-vehicle incidents alarming

2. NHTSA 2008 Traffic Safety Facts: Pedestrians

NHTSA Car v. Pedestrian Accident Facts

3. Designing road vehicles for pedestrian protection

4. California Highway Patrol

Auto Accident Stats for Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Car Injury and Fatalities

by County, City, and Statewide

INDEX:

http://www.chp.ca.gov/switrs/pdf/2008-index.pdf

California:

http://www.chp.ca.gov/switrs/#section4
San Diego County:

http://www.chp.ca.gov/switrs/pdf/2008-sec8.pdf

5. Protecting pedestrians
Politicians must put public interest before that of the car industry