Orange County, CA (PRWEB) April 02, 2014
For the first time since 2009, the number of pedestrian fatalities declined nationwide in 2013, including a 13 percent decrease in California pedestrian fatalities, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Orange County, CA personal injury lawyer John Rapillo of the Law Offices of John Rapillo today said the news is encouraging, but added that more work is needed to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents in the years to come.
Attorney Rapillo expressed his comments in response to a March 5, 2014, announcement from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) about the decrease in pedestrian fatalities in 2013.
“This is welcome news and hopefully the beginning of a trend toward safer streets for pedestrians in California and nationwide,” Rapillo said. “Pedestrian accidents can be extremely serious, often resulting in catastrophic or fatal injuries. People on foot have little to no protection in an accident. We’ve handled many devastating pedestrian accident cases at our firm. Victims typically experience significant losses, physically, emotionally and financially. That’s why reports like the GHSA one are encouraging, but we know that even one pedestrian accident is one too many. We hope drivers remember to remain alert and keep an eye out for pedestrians who may be sharing the road.”
The Governors Highway Safety Administration’s recent report focused on the first six months of 2013 compared to the same time period in 2012. Specifically, the number of pedestrian deaths between January and June 2013 was 1,985 deaths nationwide, a decrease of 190 deaths or 8.7 percent compared to 2,175 deaths during the same time period in 2012.
In California, the figures were even more impressive. During the first six months of 2013, a total of 244 pedestrians died, a decrease of 13.1 percent or 37 deaths compared to 2012, when 281 pedestrian fatalities occurred in California, according to statistics compiled by the GHSA.
Florida experienced the biggest decline in pedestrian deaths in 2013. That year, during the first six months, 179 people died in pedestrian accidents, a decrease of 23.5 percent or 55 deaths compared to pedestrian fatalities during the first six months of 2012, when 234 pedestrian fatalities took place in Florida, according to the GHSA.
Southern California cities like Long Beach, Santa Barbara and Santa Monica have been rated some of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in the United States, according to Walk Friendly Communities, a national recognition program that rates cities nationwide based on pedestrian access and safety.
So why are pedestrian fatalities so high in states like California? State officials quoted in the GHSA report noted that in the last 10 years, many pedestrians are “unfamiliar with the rules of the road, signage and traffic management systems,” the GHSA report states.
Whatever the reason, the rest of the state of California might learn something from cities like Long Beach, California, according to attorney Rapillo of the Law Offices of John Rapillo. “Pedestrian safety does not improve by accident,” Rapillo said. “Communities need to make a concerted effort to improve pedestrian safety and enforcement of laws designed to protect pedestrians. We cannot sit back and hope that pedestrian safety will continue to improve. We need to make protecting pedestrians a priority in California and across the country. Because when pedestrian accidents happen, the consequences can often be extremely severe.”
For more information about what to do after a pedestrian accident in Southern California and the legal options available to injury victims, call (800) 814-4771 or complete the online contact form.
The Governors Highway Safety Association report cited is “New Report: Reversal in Three-Year Uptick in Pedestrian Fatalities.”
About the Law Offices of John Rapillo
An experienced, knowledgeable attorney with more than 30 years experienced, Orange County personal injury lawyer John Rapillo assists injury victims and families who lost loved ones throughout Southern California. The Law Offices of John Rapillo has offices in Newport Beach and Huntington Beach. The law firm handles a wide range of cases, including auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, slip and fall accidents, dog bites, construction accidents and pedestrian accidents. Attorney Rapillo works on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay nothing if you don’t win. Contact the Law Offices of John Rapillo today for a free case evaluation.
The Law Offices of John Rapillo
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2700 Newport Boulevard
Newport Beach, CA 92663
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17011 Beach Boulevard
Huntington Beach, CA 92647