Personal injury attorney in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, examines rise of pedestrian accidents in California.

Pedestrian Accidents are On the Rise in California: Part I

On October 26, a 73-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed by a semi-truck on Phelan Road near the corner of Caughlin Road in Phelan, CA. On November 9, a 59-year-old pedestrian was killed in a crash at the intersection of I-215 Southbound and University Parkway in San Bernardino.

These fatal pedestrian accidents are part of a disturbing trend in both California and nationwide. Pedestrian deaths are on the rise all across California, and they now account for more than 25% of all traffic-related fatalities in the Golden State.

In 2021, pedestrian deaths in the US hit their highest levels in four decades. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) projects that a total of 7,485 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes last year, an increase of 11.5% from 2020 when there were 6,516 pedestrian deaths. This also represents an astonishing 68% increase from the 4,457 nationwide pedestrian fatalities in 2011, just a decade ago.

California Among the Most Dangerous States for Pedestrians

According to a report by Smart Growth America, the US in general is not a very pedestrian-friendly country. They identify several flaws in the designs of our cities and towns that make it more difficult for pedestrians to safely navigate the outdoor walkways.

California is listed as one of the top 10 most dangerous states when it comes to pedestrian safety, and several cities in the Golden State make the top 20 most hazardous cities. These include:

  • Bakersfield #7
  • Stockton #9
  • Fresno #10
  • Riverside/San Bernadino/Ontario #14

The report goes on to say that none of the deadliest states and cities are improving. The pedestrian fatality rate in every single one of these places has worsened in recent years.

As an aside, it is important to note that the deadly trends with regard to pedestrian accidents and deaths increased even in 2020, the year of the pandemic when far fewer people were driving. The pedestrian fatality rate rose by 4.7% that year.

Most Common Injuries Sustained by Pedestrians in Traffic Crashes

Crashes involving pedestrians can result in some of the most severe and often catastrophic injuries. A person who is walking is obviously far more vulnerable to serious injury when they are struck by a vehicle because they have little to no protection. For this reason, motorists have a duty to operate their vehicles carefully and in a way that prioritizes the safety of pedestrians.

Here are some of the typical injuries that pedestrians tend to suffer after a traffic accident:

Soft Tissue Injuries

One of the most common categories of injuries that happen to pedestrians when they are struck by a vehicle is a soft tissue injury. There are several types of injuries that may fit into this category, such as lacerations, bruises, tears, sprains, and dislocations. Although soft tissue injuries may seem more minor than other injury types, they can still cause significant pain and keep someone out of work for several weeks or in some cases, months.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

TBIs are caused by a sudden and traumatic jolt or blow to the head. In a pedestrian crash, this type of injury typically results from the person’s head slamming into the pavement. Some TBIs are fairly mild and resolve in a matter of days or weeks, these are known as concussions. Others are more serious, however, and can result in permanent brain damage.

Spinal Cord Injuries

A sudden and traumatic blow to the spinal column from a pedestrian crash can result in spinal cord damage. This type of injury can be very serious because the spinal cord transmits signals from the brain to other areas of the body. Depending on the severity of the injury, some of the effects can be permanent, among them being partial or total paralysis.

Fractures/Broken Bones

A pedestrian crash can often result in a fracture that could cause the victim to be laid up for several weeks or months. Children and the elderly are most susceptible to fractures. The reason for this is that in the case of children, their bones are not fully developed, and in the case of the elderly, their bones are usually deteriorating.

Amputations/Loss of Limbs

Some pedestrian accidents result in a person having a limb crushed or trapped to the point where amputation is required. Although someone with an artificial limb can eventually learn to function, they will always have physical limitations that did not exist previously. But before an amputee reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI), they typically have to endure several weeks or longer of major physical pain.


A pedestrian crash can sometimes leave the victim with severe burns or other types of injuries to the skin that result in permanent scarring or disfigurement. In addition to the physical issues that this may cause, unsightly scarring can also have an adverse effect on a person’s emotional well-being.

Emotional Trauma

In relation to the last point, pedestrian crash victims often experience severe emotional and psychological trauma. It is not just the physical pain and suffering that causes this, it is also the feeling of having been violated.

One of the fundamental aspects of our social compact as a society is that when someone is walking down the street, they should have a reasonable expectation that they can do so without having to be worried about getting hit by a car. But once that compact has been broken, that person may never be able to fully enjoy walking outside again.

Wrongful Death

As we talked about earlier, pedestrian accident fatalities have vastly increased in recent years, now accounting for a quarter of all traffic-related deaths in California. Our society as a whole needs to take this problem a lot more seriously and take an “all hands on deck” approach to reverse this trend. Otherwise, it will become increasingly dangerous for pedestrians to go out for a walk.

Contact a Seasoned Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Pedestrian crashes are happening at an alarming rate in San Bernardino and throughout California. And when these types of accidents occur, those who are injured because of the negligence of a vehicle driver and/or a third party deserve to be fully compensated. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not make it easy for accident injury victims to recover the compensation they are entitled to, and this is why it is so important to work with a skilled and knowledgeable personal injury attorney.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a pedestrian accident in Rancho Cucamonga or a nearby Southern California community, contact Muhareb Law Group for assistance. Message us online or call our office today at (909) 519-5832 to set up a free, no-obligation case assessment with one of our attorneys.