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Increased numbers of pedestrian deaths in 2015

Greater numbers of people walking near California roadways can impact the number of pedestrian deaths in a given year. Additionally, an increase in driving activity could contribute to greater potential for fatal accidents, including those that affect pedestrians. On a national scale, declining gasoline prices in 2015 may have played a partial role in an estimated 10 percent increase in pedestrian deaths during the year.

A report indicates that the estimated figure for pedestrian fatalities in 2015 has been based on statistics for the first six months of the year, during which time there was a 6 percent increase in such incidents in comparison to the same period for 2014. In the preceding five years, the latter half of each year had approximately 25 percent more such incidents than during the first half. It is important to recognize that the second half of the year includes the summer months, during which time there tends to be a significant increase in pedestrian activity.

With expanded driving activity during 2015, the number of all traffic-related fatalities also increased by 8 percent. However, traffic fatalities were on the decline for at least 10 years prior to 2015. Pedestrian fatalities had been increasing on a regular basis for at least a decade prior to 2015. Bus activity may also be a serious factor in the rise in pedestrian incidents as reports suggest that at least one pedestrian dies every 10 days because of being hit by a bus. Poor design may contribute to these incidents.

Although some pedestrian accidents might be caused by poor choices on the part of a pedestrian, others are caused by driver negligence. An accident investigation typically follows an incident to identify the causes. Issues such as a driver leaving the scene of an accident might contribute to criminal charges being filed against that party. An injured pedestrian might also consider filing a personal injury claim in such a scenario.

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