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46% Surge in Pedestrian Deaths Alarms Public Safety Advocates

risk factors for pedestrian accidents

The reputable Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently released a paper studying the rise in pedestrian fatalities during 2009 to 2016. The authors found that, during this short time period, 46% more pedestrians lost their lives in accidents compared to previous years. The surge in fatalities is alarming to public safety advocates, some of whom have suggested technological and road design improvements that may help curb this rising trend.

Public safety study reveals alarming safety failures

The study authors evaluated data extracted from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and General Estimates System. They examined the linear progression of changes during the study period in both pedestrian deaths per 100 crash involvements and in horsepower per 1,000 pounds of weight. Poisson regression was examined to evaluate factors such as roadway, environmental, personal, and vehicle.

The results indicated that, during the study period, pedestrian deaths reached their low period in 2010. From 2010 to 2015, pedestrian deaths per 100 crash involvements increased 29%. During the entire study period, the largest increase in pedestrian deaths occurred in urban regions. This represented a 54% increase. On arterial roadways, there was a 67% increase in deaths, and at non-intersections, there was a 50% increase in deaths. Crashes in dark conditions increased too, with a 56% rise in fatalities. Additionally, the number of SUV involved in fatal pedestrian accidents increased by 82%.

Suggestions for safety improvements

The authors at the IIHS concluded their study by suggesting that transportation agencies focus their efforts on areas that represented the greatest increases in pedestrian fatalities. Specifically, the authors recommended that urban arterials be improved by road diets, median crossing islands, pedestrian hybrid beacons, and automated speed enforcement. The visibility of pedestrians during nighttime hours could be enhanced with better vehicle headlights and better roadway lighting.

Pedestrian fatalities in California: A look at the recent statistics

Here in Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti recently launched a high-profile campaign to end traffic fatalities entirely. The overall number of traffic fatalities, including pedestrian deaths, has indeed fallen slightly. Recent statistics show that during 2017, there were 244 traffic fatalities, including drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. This is a six percent decline in traffic accident deaths.

However, pedestrian fatalities have surged in Los Angeles. In 2015, 74 pedestrians were killed on the city’s streets. During 2017, that number increased to 134.

In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, Mayor Garcetti said, “Every life is important and we must keep pushing to do better. Safety is our top priority, and we will continue to set bold goals.”

Were you affected by a pedestrian accident in southern California?

At Ellis Injury Law, our pedestrian accident lawyers in Los Angeles provide vigorous legal advocacy services to victims and their families. We firmly believe that one life lost is one too many, and we’ll do everything possible to help your family pursue justice in the court system. We invite victims or their family members to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation case review at our law firm. Call us toll-free at 888-828-5603 or fill out the contact form on our website.

Additional resources about pedestrian accidents

  1. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, An examination of the increases in pedestrian motor vehicle crash fatalities during 2009–16, http://www.iihs.org/bibliography/topic/2160
  2. Los Angeles Times, Pedestrian deaths surge in L.A., overall traffic fatalities down slightly, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-vision-zero-20180227-story.html

When Bicycles Hit Pedestrians: Who’s to Blame?

The number of bicyclists in Southern California has grown significantly as more people use this eco-friendly mode of transport for daily commutes and healthy recreation. Although biking is a relatively easy activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, accidents can and do happen. There are weekend warriors who casually pedal in the wrong lanes, occasionally ignoring crosswalk signals, stop signs or encroaching on sidewalks earmarked for foot traffic. And then there’s the dilemma of shared spaces – pathways that are used by both bicyclists and walkers. 

When a cyclist hits a pedestrian and injuries result, who’s to blame? In accidents where property damage and physical harm are involved, it all comes down to who breached their respective duty of care. Just because you were the knocked-down pedestrian or bicyclist does not – in and of itself– establish fault. In these cases, insurance companies and the court determine liability based on laws of negligence.

Was the bicyclist traveling too fast, approaching the pedestrian from behind without adequate warning? Or was the pedestrian busy texting on their phone when they stepped in the cyclist’s path? Both parties must exercise a reasonable amount of attention and awareness to their surroundings – a concept known as “duty of care.”

Duty of care for pedestrians

Pedestrians owe a certain duty of care to others who are sharing the roadways or sidewalks. They are expected to exercise caution to avoid accident and injury. Distraction plays a large role in bicyclist-pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians who are engaged in conversation, walking their dogs, texting or listening to music, are at greater risk for an accident.

Other instances of pedestrian negligence:

  • Walking while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
  • Jaywalking despite oncoming traffic
  • Failing to use marked crossroads
  • Not walking in designated pedestrian areas

Duty of care for bicyclists

Bicyclists, just like pedestrians, are under a duty to exercise the same level of caution to prevent accident or injury to others.

A cyclist may be found negligent if they:

  • Ride in pedestrian-only zones
  • Violate traffic rules
  • Ride distracted
  • Ride under the influence
  • Ride without proper lighting at night
  • Travel above the posted speed limit
  • Fail to make their presence known (ringing a bell, etc.)

Bicycle-pedestrian accidents in California

Recent data on bicyclist-pedestrian collisions in California is sparse. The most recent study, published in the journal of Safety Research, indicates a downward trend in these accidents. Between 2005-2011, 6,177 pedestrians in California were involved in accidents with cyclists. The majority suffered injuries to the neck and head and were treated on an outpatient basis. Not everyone escapes serious injury, however.

In 2016, a reckless bicyclist knocked down an elderly woman who was using a marked crosswalk on the LA River Path. It was a hit-and-run accident that left the 64-year-old woman with severe injuries requiring hospitalization and surgery.

Superior legal advocacy in Los Angeles

Establishing negligence in a pedestrian-cyclist crash requires the investigative prowess of an experienced attorney. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the Ellis Law Firm has a long track record of success handling personal injury claims in Southern California.  Our award-winning team is committed to achieving the compensation our clients need and deserve. To discuss your case with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer free of charge, call 1-800-INJURED. 

Additional Resources on Pedestrian -Bicycle Collisions:

  1. Cycling Weekly, New debate over who’s to blame as cyclist and pedestrian collide http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/latest-news/new-debate-over-whos-to-blame-as-cyclist-and-pedestrian-collide-201606
  2. VeloSurance, What you need to know about cycling accidents with pedestrians https://velosurance.com/information-center/cyclists-what-to-know-accidents-pedestrians/
  3. NHTSA, Pedestrian Safety https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/pedestrian-safety
  4. com, The Rate of Pedestrians Injured by Bicyclists Is Going Down https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2014/10/the-rate-of-pedestrians-injured-by-bicyclists-is-going-down/381013/

4 Great Running Events in Los Angeles

marathon runners, jogging, raceLos Angeles, with its mild weather and beautiful landscapes, has dozens of scenic running trails for those who want some heart pumping exercise. There’s no need for a gym membership when you have access to scenic lakeside paths, rolling coastal roads and countless parks that offer the perfect backdrop for a cardio workout.

It’s no surprise then that L.A. and the surrounding communities host some widely-attended races, marathons and fundraising running events. Here’s a round-up of upcoming running events in 2018.

Surf City Marathon & Half Marathon

The Surf City marathon is one of Southern California’s most iconic running events. This year’s race will be held February 2-4, 2018 in Huntington Beach and registrations are filling up quickly. Join more than 15,000 runners from all over the country on Super Bowl Sunday and enjoy a beachfront race on the stunning Pacific Coast Highway. This year, organizers have added a 5K and a Kids Cowabunga Beach Challenge with surfboard medals for all distances. Participants will have free shuttle service to start and finish areas, and as usual, there will be plenty of swag.

Winter Blast 5k, 10k, 15k & Half Marathon

The Winter Blast fun run in Long Beach is just around the corner! The family-friendly event will take place on February 3, 2018 with a start time at 7:30 AM. Registration is allowed on race day, with the following fees: 5k $30; 10k $35; 15k $40 and Half Marathon $45. There are aid stations stocked with water, energy drinks and snacks, and the open course invites a more relaxed, personal running experience. The races are clock timed with results posted the next day.

Hollywood Sign 6K, 12K Trail Run Hike

This fun run traverses historic Griffith Park, where participants are treated to panoramic vistas of the Observatory, the iconic sign and downtown L.A. Both the Griffith Park 6K and Hollywood Sign 12K begin at 7AM on Sunday, February 11. The trails are rugged but well-marked and dotted with fully supported aid stations. The race is chip-timed for accurate results, and all participants will get free photos, a finisher medal and race T-shirt. Registration ends on February 9, 2018.

L.A. Marathon

Created in 1986, the L.A. Marathon is among the biggest and most prestigious in the country, with more than 25,000 participants and thousands of fans cheering them on. Participants can opt to complete the entire marathon or run it as a relay. There is also a 5K event for those who are not up to the 26.2-mile challenge. The race starts at Dodger Stadium, passing by some of the city’s most iconic attractions, before finishing at Santa Monica beach. The 2018 LA Marathon is on Sunday March 18; registration for the event is open but filling up fast.

Pedestrian Accident Attorneys in California

Fatal collisions between runners and distracted motorists are occurring with alarming frequency in California. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or in serious training for an upcoming marathon, it’s important to protect yourself, stay alert and run defensively. Those who run daily or for long distances face many hazards, and Los Angeles remains one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians.

Speak to a Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer at Ellis Injury Law if you’ve been harmed while running. We provide high caliber personal injury representation backed by 25 years of experience. Explore your legal options by calling our El Segundo headquarters at 1-800-INJURED for a free consult today. We charge no fees unless we win money for you!

Read more on Los Angeles 2018 Running Events:

  1. LARaces.com, Southern California: All Events http://laraces.com/
  2. RacePlace.com, Running Los Angeles, CA https://www.raceplace.com/city/los-angeles-ca/running
  3. RunGuides.com, Upcoming Los Angeles Races http://www.runguides.com/los-angeles/runs

3 Best Jogging Routes in Los Angeles

Fitness male running outdoors during sunset. In southern California, we enjoy an average of 266 days of sun per year. So despite our city’s popular association with freeways and cars, we jog, we run, we do everything we can to enjoy the sunshine outside.

And that’s to say nothing of enjoying the beaches, the mountains, and the gleaming spires of downtown.

One of the best ways to enjoy this beautiful sun-drenched scenery is by jogging. Paths to jog abound.

Here are 3 of the best jogging routes in Los Angeles.

1. Griffith Park

If you want to jog in a Los Angeles landmark, look no further than Griffith Park. At 4,300 acres, it’s in the list of top 10 (in size) parks owned by a city or other municipality. Some popular jogging trails are Griffith Park Drive starting at the Los Feliz Boulevard/Riverside Drive entrance, Crystal Springs Drive in Park Center to the Zoo, and Zoo Drive to the Travel Town Museum.

There are multiple attractions in Griffith Park for when you cool down, among them the Griffith Park Observatory, where Mia and Sebastian danced in La-La Land. Parts of the 1950s classic film Rebel Without a Cause were also filmed there.

2. The Rose Bowl Loop, Arroyo Seco, Pasadena

Since the Rose Bowl is coming up, why not celebrate it early (or later) by jogging the Rose Bowl Loop in Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco? The Arroyo Seco contains over 22 miles of trails that can be used for jogging, as well as hiking and riding horseback.

The 3-mile Rose Bowl Loop is probably the most well-traveled. You’ll jog around Rose Bowl Stadium and by a golf course for greenery. The Loop also provides breath-taking views of the arroyo that gives the area its name.

3. Palisades Park Along Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica

Want an oceanfront run? Look no further than Santa Monica’s Palisades Park run, right along Ocean Avenue. If you jog from Ocean Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard to the Santa Monica Pier, you will have done about 3 miles. You’ll share the path with runners and tourists looking at the beach. The path is sand and earth.

Once you’re at the Pier, you’ll be able to enjoy the rides, the sights, walk along the beach, or nurse some cotton candy.

If You Need a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles

Despite the abundance of jogging routes, traffic is not always the jogger’s friend in southern California. While vehicles and bicycles should yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in normal conditions, accidents can happen. For a pedestrian, being hit by a car or bike can cause traumatic injury, as the pedestrian has no protection.

Ellis Injury Law has been successfully litigating pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles for more than 20 years. Let us help you if you have been injured while walking or jogging in LA.

Contact us today at 1-800-INJURED for a complimentary consultation. We charge no fees unless we win your case!

Additional “Best Los Angeles Running Paths” Resources:

  1. “Beaches and Mountains and Parks, Oh, My! 13 Great Places to Run in L.A.” Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-la-running-pictures-photogallery.html
  2. Where to Run in Los Angeles: L.A.’s Top 10 Running Paths. Discover Los Angeles. https://www.discoverlosangeles.com/blog/where-run-los-angeles-las-top-10-running-paths

Streets of South LA: Cycle of Disrepair

If you’re a bicyclist in Los Angeles, ride at your own risk.

That’s the stark message conveyed by a recent “SoCal Connected” segment aired by public television station KCET. The weekly video news magazine’s segment, “Cycle of Disrepair: Bumps in the Road,” focused attention on the dire condition of Los Angeles streets — and the potentially dire consequences for bicyclists who ride them.

Only 9% of LA roads in good repair

Roads in the city were characterized as “a mess,” with a mere 9% being in good repair. Interviews with area bicyclists highlighted potholes, cracks and fissures, uneven surfaces and other issues as dangers that sent them spinning off their bikes — in some cases, into the windshields of parked cars.

All of the interviewees had been treated for injuries sustained as a result of poor repair of city streets. Many had undergone extensive physical therapy.

Other footage highlighted deaths due to bicycle accidents – deaths that occurred because of  exceedingly dangerous road conditions. Potholes, deep cracks and fissures, and uneven surfaces are, of course, extremely hazardous to bicyclists, since all upset the balance of bicycles and can abruptly stop their ability to keep going at all.

In some cases, city officials had known about the road and street conditions for years, but had done nothing to fix them.

A number of injured cyclists have file lawsuits against the city in recent years. Last year, for example, the city of Los Angeles paid out $20 million in damages to people injured while bicycling on city streets.

The number is so large that it imperils the funds the city sets aside for damage claims from other categories.

Lack of qualified tradesmen cited

Even more startlingly, the city agency tasked with repairing road surfaces in Los Angeles routinely hands back major sums from its budget to the city, according to KCET.

In fiscal year 2016, the segment observes, the agency gave back $23 million from its budget, money earmarked to fix streets in the city. In fiscal year 2015, it gave back $19 million.

Why isn’t the money used to repair roads instead? The agency’s head attributes the problem to a lack of qualified people to do the work, yet routinely gives back money that would pay for road repair salaries.

Bicycle accident lawyers Los Angeles trusts

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident in southern California, we can seek justice on your behalf. Ellis Injury Law has more than two decades of experience successfully litigating bicycle and pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles.

Call 1-800-INJURED for a free consultation with a skilled bicycle accident lawyer at Ellis Law.

Additional Resources on disrepair of LA streets:

  1. City of Los Angeles. LADOT Bike Program. http://bike.lacity.org
  2. “Cycle of Disrepair: Bumps in the Road.” SoCal Connected. KCET. https://www.kcet.org/shows/socal-connected/cycle-of-disrepair

Mythbuster: Why Los Angeles Really is a Great Walking City

pedestrian signEarly in the 1984 cult movie classic, Repo Man, a garage mechanic in Los Angeles, where the movie is set, gives his opinion that “the more you drive, the less intelligent you are”. To the extent that this is true, the overall intelligence of Los Angeles residents must be soaring because Los Angeles is rapidly becoming a great pedestrian-friendly walking city.

Los Angeles will likely maintain its car culture roots, but the growth of the walking culture that is challenging those roots is readily understood in a number of truths about the city.

LA is a city of walkable neighborhoods 

Central Hollywood, Downtown L.A., and Koreatown have always been great walking neighborhoods. Many of these neighborhoods are ranked higher on a scale of pedestrian-friendliness than parts of New York City, which ranks consistently high on ratings for ease of walking. A few of the city’s more upscale neighborhoods might shun pedestrian traffic, but the regular foot traffic around the fifteen blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street more than make up for the dearth of walking in those few select areas.

New street lighting and crosswalks

In 2013, Los Angeles completed a major street lighting retrofit with its installation of more than one hundred thousand LED light fixtures to improve lighting quality and overall visibility. Those light fixtures make it easier for motorists to see pedestrians, and the higher-quality lighting conveys a greater sense of safety and security to walkers who prefer to leave their cars at home.

Thriving public transportation network

Los Angeles’ bus and light rail network connects different neighborhoods and provides an easy alternative to driving on congested roads and highways. The light rail subway, for example, can take riders from downtown Union Station, through central Hollywood and Universal City, and  on to North Hollywood. Riders can connect with other light rail and bus routes to USC, Culver City, Chinatown, and Pasadena, among other popular destinations.

The city is encouraging car-free events

Annual events such as CicLAvia, which temporarily keeps cars off of a 15-mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard, encourage more foot and cycle traffic on the city’s streets.  Increased foot traffic is leading to more local shops and businesses on those streets to cater to pedestrians. As these events grow, the cycle will feed on itself, with more businesses bringing larger numbers of pedestrians onto the streets, and more pedestrians demanding more services from those businesses.

Legal help for pedestrian accident victims

As with many transitions that take people away from established ways of doing things, the transition from driving to walking in Los Angeles is not without its downsides. As the movie might have implied, pedestrians are becoming more intelligent as they drive less, but increased foot traffic on the city’s streets brings with it an increased risk of pedestrian accidents and injuries. The attorneys at Ellis Injury Law have more than 25 years of experience in representing individuals who have suffered injuries as a result of another party’s negligence. Even a low-speed collision between a car and a pedestrian can cause traumatic injuries that can lead to large medical bills and lost income.

If you or loved one needs expert legal guidance from a Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer, we invite you to reach out to the Ellis Injury Law Firm for a no-cost, no-obligation case review.

Additional Resources on walkability of Los Angeles:

  1. LA Curbed,  Just How Walkable is LA? https://la.curbed.com/2017/6/19/15832876/la-walkable-rankings-pedestrian-cities-long-beach
  2. NY Times, 8 Pedestrian-Friendly U.S. Cities to Explore https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/20/travel/most-pedestrian-friendly-car-free-cities.html
  3. LA Times, LA on Cusp of Becoming a Major Walkable City http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-mo-los-angeles-on-cusp-of-becoming-major-walkable-city-study-says-20140616-story.html

When Music Kills: A Closer Look at Distracted Walking

walking in the streets of city wearing headphonesIn Los Angeles and throughout California, pedestrians who are distracted by their headphones and earphones aren’t as capable of identifying hazards and reacting appropriately. This leads to serious injuries and sometimes, fatalities.

The exponential growth of technology incorporated into everyday life has proven hazardous in many ways. Distracted driving accidents caused by cellphone usage have spurred new legislation aimed at improving the safety of the roadways. The risks of distracted walking are equally as troubling.

The dangers of distracted walking

Doctors and public safety advocates are urging pedestrians to put away their iPods and cellphones while walking, especially in urban areas like Los Angeles. It might be pleasant to block out the noise of the city, but it’s also dangerous. Getting lost in your music takes your attention away from potential hazards—even if they’re right in front of you. Plus, headphones muffle sounds that can alert pedestrians to dangers, such as honking car horns or the whistle of a train.

The rise of iPod oblivion

Not yet convinced that music can kill you? Here’s a look at the statistics. In 2015, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) commissioned a study on distracted walking. The study questioned 2,000 participants across the U.S. An additional 500 respondents were queried in Los Angeles, as well as 500 participants each in other major cities like Seattle, Houston, and Atlanta. Here’s what the study revealed:

  • 78% of U.S. adults think that distracted walking is a serious problem
  • 74% say that other people are to blame for distracted walking
  • Just 29% admit to engaging in distracted walking themselves
  • 88% see pedestrians listening to music while walking
  • 90% report seeing people use cellphones while walking

In addition, a remarkable four out of every 10 Americans report having personally witnessed some sort of distracted walking incident. Twenty-six percent of study respondents admit to being involved in this type of accident themselves.

In a separate study, published in the medical journal Injury Prevention, researchers revealed a tripling of the number of people who have sustained major injuries or been killed due to listening to music while walking. The researchers discovered that, between 2004 and 2005, there were 16 music-related pedestrian accidents. From 2010 to 2011, there were 47.

These researchers also examined 116 cases of people who were struck by cars and other vehicles while wearing headphones or earbuds. Thirty-four of those pedestrians said they never heard a warning of the impending accident, such as sirens or horns. About two-thirds of those individuals were older than 18, but younger than 30.

Legal representation for injured pedestrians

The personal injury attorneys at Ellis Law have helped plaintiffs in the greater Los Angeles area recover millions in damages for their injuries. During our 20-plus years representing individuals in California, our pedestrian accident lawyers have developed a sterling reputation for compassionate service and aggressive representation in the courtroom. Call 1-800-INJURED today if you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident. Your consultation is free, and we never charge legal fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.

More info on the dangers of distracted walking:

  1. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Distracted Walking, http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00748
  2. Daily News, Wearing headphones while you walk is deadly; deaths and serious injuries tripled in past 6 years, http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/wearing-headphones-walk-deadly-deaths-serious-injuries-tripled-6-years-article-1.1007438

5 Most Dangerous Intersections for Pedestrians in Los Angeles

pedestrian accidents increasing in californiaLast year, Curbed called Los Angeles the “most unsafe place for pedestrians” after a study from the Auto Insurance Center found there were 207 pedestrian fatalities caused by vehicles in 2014. LA County led the nation in pedestrian fatalities by more than double Maricopa County, Arizona, which had 91 deaths.

The number of collisions between motor vehicles and walkers jumped 35 percent from 2011 to 2015, and edged up another 3% last year. According to The Daily News, city officials recently discovered “that 6 percent of city streets accounted for nearly 65 percent of deaths and serious injuries to people walking and biking.”

Here are some of the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in LA:

Vincent Street & Pacific Coast Highway – Redondo Beach (90277)

Four pedestrians were fatally hit at this location, which is a few blocks from the beach, a park, two schools, and a library. On December 17, 2014, 55-year-old Margo Bronstein was driving north on the Pacific Coast Highway when her vehicle plowed through a red light into a crowd in the crosswalk at Vincent Street, killing four and injuring several others. The pedestrians were on their way to their cars after attending a Christmas musical pageant at St. James Church. Among those killed were Torrance residents 6-year-old Samuel Gaza; his 36-year-old mother, Martha Gaza; 81-year-old Mary Ann Wilson; and 87-year-old Saeko Matsumura. Police at the scene say the driver appeared sleepy and confused, but prosecutors later determined the amount of medication in her blood was not enough to meet legal minimums for intoxication. Her attorney said Bronstein suffered “an explosion of blinding, excruciating pain” in her spine as she was driving, which caused her to drive through the light. She was sentenced to three years and four months in prison after pleading no contest.

Slauson Avenue & Western Avenue – South LA (90047)

A whopping 41 pedestrians were struck by cars in this intersection from 2002-2013! Six hit-and-run accidents occurred from November 2014 – October 2015. The area includes multiple strip malls bustling with activity. Shops like Cash Express, Little Caesars, Walgreens, Home Depot, Big Lots, and gas stations all converge here. Cars speed down the wide streets as if they’re lanes of a highway. Vehicles are coming out of parking lots in every direction, zipping past children on bikes and old women pushing shopping carts. Pedestrians must traverse 70 feet, across five harrowing lanes of traffic, to reach safety. Urban Planner Deborah Murphy, head of pedestrian advocacy group Los Angeles Walks, says “there is so much work to be done here.” She recommends adding taller buildings or trees that arch into the roadway to narrow drivers’ field of view, instinctively signaling them to slow down. Adding wheelchair and stroller ramps at each crosswalk and installing sharper curbs that force drivers to brake and turn would all help decrease the number of accidents and fatalities, she says.

Hollywood Boulevard & Highland Avenue – South LA (90028)

From 2002-2013, 38 pedestrians were injured by cars, and one of those pedestrians was killed. Seven hit-and-run accidents occurred here from November 2014 – October 2015 alone. This section of LA is heavily trafficked by tourists heading to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Souvenirs of Hollywood, or El Capitan Theatre. Traffic is notoriously slow here and it’s an area that has seen improvements to crosswalks and traffic signals in recent years, but the volume of visitors unfamiliar with the roads makes it a “high risk” intersection nonetheless. Transportation planner and UCLA professor Ryan Snyder recommends adding curb extensions that bump the corners of the sidewalk farther out into the street, eliminating a lane of traffic. This modification would reduce the pedestrians’ crossing distance and risk.

​​Hill Street, between 5th and 6th street – Downtown LA (90013)

Three pedestrians were struck and killed at this downtown intersection. Here you’ll see high rise offices, apartment complexes, and Pershing Square. According to an LA Times analysis, the downtown core has the highest concentration of “dangerous intersections” – there are 48 of them – accounting for 659 injured pedestrians and 11 deaths in the 12-year study period.

Need a pedestrian accident attorney in LA?

In these collisions, motorists were at fault 43% of the time. In many cases, city officials knew of hazards, but failed to act. If you or a loved one were struck by a car while on foot, a Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer from the Ellis Law Firm can help you build a substantial claim to receive compensation for medical bills, lost time off work, reduced earning capacity, emotional pain and suffering, loss of consortium, disability, and, in the worst cases, funeral expenses.

Call now for a free case review from one of LA’s leading personal injury firms. You pay nothing unless we take the case and win money on your behalf. Andy Ellis has secured more than $350 Million for his clients.

More on the worst intersections for pedestrians in LA:

Who is Liable when a Bicycle Hits a Pedestrian?

pedestrian hit by bicyclist who is liable ?Los Angeles, California is a relatively dangerous place for pedestrians, compared to the rest of the country. A University of Michigan study on all types of traffic collisions found that 32 percent of fatal crashes in LA involved pedestrians – 10 percent higher than the national average. Most serious pedestrian accidents involve collisions with motor vehicles, but there are still incidents where bicycles strike pedestrians in Los Angeles.

The average bicycle commuter travels at 10 miles per hour, but fitness cyclists can get up to nearly 20 miles per hour. At that speed, the risk of death for a struck pedestrian could be as high as 10 percent. Serious injuries in pedestrian/bicycle collisions include: fractures, concussion, head trauma, internal injuries, spinal cord damage, crushing injuries, burns, deep lacerations, severe cuts, shock, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Working with a California pedestrian accident lawyer can help you establish liability and seek just compensation for your injuries.

How often do bikes hit California pedestrians?

There isn’t a ton of data, but from what we can tell, pedestrian/bike collisions are relatively rare. One state-specific study found that just 0.9% of pedestrian injuries (9 incidents) involved a person on foot colliding with a bicyclist, resulting in injuries significant enough to require treatment at a California medical center. However, that same study found hospital discharge data citing 111 pedestrian and bicyclist injury cases.

Other reports have found that these incidents are significantly underreported. Hunter College professors looking at accidents in New York City say there were more than 500 badly injured pedestrians struck by bicycles in NYC each year. Statewide, the figure was closer to 1,000.

Another analysis by Peter Tuckel and William Wilczarski cited a figure of “1,000 pedestrian/cycle accidents treated annually nationwide” – but researchers admitted that they had only hit “the tip of the proverbial iceberg” because their data did not include injuries treated in doctor’s offices or walk-in urgent care clinics.

Compared to a pedestrian’s 12% chance of being struck by a motor vehicle, the relative risk of injury for bicycle collisions is low. Of course, statistics mean little when you’re the injured party.

Elderly woman struck by hit-and-run cyclist in Glendale, CA

One high-profile felony hit-and-run occurred on October 8, 2016 when a 64-year-old woman was crossing at a marked crosswalk, attempting to enter the shared-use LA River Path at Brand Boulevard and Caruso Avenue in Glendale. The speeding cyclist blew through a red light, knocked the woman down, and kept going. The victim was transported to the hospital with significant head and facial injuries that required surgery and a prolonged hospital stay.

LA pedestrian needs surgery after collision with cyclist

Two years earlier, an elderly woman was struck by a cyclist on the same path. The cyclist stopped to render aid, but the woman had to undergo surgery to repair her broken arm. Though signs, rumble strips, and pedestrian-only paths were added to the park, there’s no guarantee people will heed the warnings.

In NYC, Central Park fatality highlights danger of cyclist/pedestrian crashes

The wife of a CBS executive was struck and killed by a cyclist in Central Park in September 2014. The man who hit her slowed down for one set of traffic lights, but sped through a red light while using a fitness app before hitting the victim, who was placed on life support, and died after three days in the hospital.

Proving liability when you’re struck by a cyclist

To prove a bicyclist’s negligence, your attorney could pursue several different angles to show that:

  • You were lawfully on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk when the bicycle hit you.
  • The bicyclist was distracted at the time, while texting, talking on the phone, using a fitness app, etc.
  • The bicyclist was speeding above the posted speed limit (which can happen in an under-30 zone!)
  • The bicyclist was violating a park ordinance, such as riding in the wrong direction.
  • The bicyclist failed to act “in a reasonable and prudent manner” while riding.

Typically, local municipalities are not considered liable for a pedestrian/bicycle accident. Victims and/or families can sue the individual cyclist to cover medical expenses and other tangible financial losses, pain and suffering, and (in the worst cases) wrongful death. A lawsuit is most often paid out of the cyclist’s personal assets, wage garnishes, or homeowner/renter’s insurance.

How a California pedestrian accident lawyer can help

A Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to prove your claim when it’s he said / she said. If you do not know who struck you, a legal team can work with police investigators to discover the identity of the perpetrator. Attorneys compile photos of the accident scene and your injuries, track down witness statements, assess police reports, comb through local ordinances and laws, and offer the best advice for legally pursuing compensation. Even before you contact the insurance company, talk to The Ellis Firm in Los Angeles for a free case review. You pay us nothing unless we take on your case and win.

More on “bicycle-pedestrian accidents”:

  1. US Department of Transportation – Injuries to Pedestrians and Bicyclists: An Analysis Based on Hospital Emergency Department Data, https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/pedbike/99078/chapter2.cfm
  2. Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, Factsheet, http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/data/factsheet_crash.cfm
  3. Pasadena Star News, Dangers of biking in Los Angeles confirmed by Michigan study, http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/general-news/20121014/dangers-of-biking-in-los-angeles-confirmed-by-michigan-study
  4. Reference, How fast does the average person ride a bicycle? https://www.reference.com/sports-active-lifestyle/fast-average-person-ride-bike-cf053029272716e0
  5. The East Sider LA, Bike Ban Proposed on LA River Path After Elderly Pedestrian Injured, https://www.theeastsiderla.com/2016/10/bike-ban-proposed-on-l-a-river-path-after-elderly-pedestrian-injured-in-elysian-valley-crash/
  6. Daily Mail, Cyclist That Killed CBS Executive’s Wife Spotted Blowing Red Lights, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3100853/Cyclist-killed-CBS-executive-s-wife-Central-Park-year-spotted-blowing-red-lights-son-handlebars.html
  7. Gothamist, Study: Bikes Hit More Pedestrians Than Previously Thought, http://gothamist.com/2011/09/19/pedestrians_are_hit_by_more_bicycli.php

8 Major Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

pedestrian crosswalkAccording to a recent study by the Auto Insurance Center, Los Angeles County leads the nation for the highest rate of pedestrian deaths. Every year, more than 200 people on foot are killed in the greater LA area, and pedestrian knock-downs account for a staggering 33 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the county. Sadly, the majority of these victims are the most vulnerable of our residents: the elderly and children walking to and from school.

In many of these accidents, loss of life was entirely preventable, had both drivers and pedestrians followed the rules of the road, paying attention to their surroundings, particularly near poorly marked crosswalks or high-speed boulevards where collisions are more likely to happen.

More than 70,000 pedestrians are seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents every year. Some collisions are cut and dry when it comes to liability: a drunk driver swerves onto a sidewalk and mows down a teenager walking home from school. In other accidents, determining the at-fault party can be much more complex.

In an effort to reduce the number of needless tragedies, we’ve compiled a list of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents in the United States.

Top 8 causes of pedestrian accidents

  1. Unmarked Crosswalks – Los Angeles County is riddled with poorly and unmarked pedestrian crosswalks, and statistics show that the majority of knock downs occur at busy intersections. Well-marked pedestrian pathways are crucial to reducing the number of accidents and deaths.
  2. Distracted Driving – It’s no secret that our culture has a smart phone addiction, and increasing numbers of collisions are attributed to motorists who are texting, chatting or otherwise distracted while driving.
  3. Distracted Walking – The ‘no texting’ laws should also apply to pedestrians, who are more prone to walking into traffic when using their mobile devices. NYU Langone Medical Center found that 8 percent of NY pedestrian accidents happened while the victim was using their cell phone or iPod.
  4. Improper Lane Use – is among the top culprits in pedestrian knockdowns. Bicyclists who use a pedestrian sidewalk can force walkers into busy traffic.
  5. Left-Hand Turns – Data shows that pedestrians are more than 3 times as likely to be struck by a car making a left-hand turn, compared to a right turn at intersections, as the driver is focused on traffic and the walker is looking straight ahead.
  6. Reduced Visibility at Night – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 70 percent of all pedestrian accidents occur after the sun goes down, when drivers may be less likely to spot someone crossing the street. If you are walking during evening hours, you can protect yourself by carrying a flashlight and wearing bright or reflective clothes.
  7. Alcohol use – Intoxication is a contributing factor in thousands of pedestrian-vehicle accidents, with both parties to blame. The Highway Loss Data Institute reports that in 37 percent of pedestrian fatalities, the victim had a BAC above the legal limit. In comparison, drunk drivers were cited in 13 percent of pedestrian collisions.
  8. More cars on the road – Large metropolitan areas like Los Angeles continue to expand with high-speed, multi-lane roads that are packed with increasing numbers of vehicles. Unfortunately, some of these urban thoroughfares are also used by pedestrians, who are at risk for severe injury or death in the event of an accident.

Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyers

Given Southern California’s temperate weather, walking may appear to be an environmentally-friendly and healthy way to get from point A to point B. It’s important, however, to be cognizant of potential dangers at all times. In the aftermath of any type of serious knock-down and injury, it’s in your best interest to speak with an LA pedestrian accident attorney at Ellis Law. Serving Los Angeles for more than 20 years, our legal team provides professional legal representation for victims of personal injury. Call 1-800-INJURED to schedule a free legal consultation.

Additional Pedestrian Accident Causes Resources:

  1. Safety Resource Center, Why People Get Hit: Eight Causes of Pedestrian Accidents https://www.trafficsafetystore.com/blog/why-people-get-hit-eight-causes-of-pedestrian-accidents/
  2. NHTSA, Traffic Safety Facts https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/811625
  3. Curbed, LA Is the Most Unsafe Place in the US for Pedestrians http://la.curbed.com/2016/2/3/10942036/los-angeles-most-unsafe-for-pedestrians