There is good news and bad news. The good news is that, overall, the country's roadways are safer than they have been in decades. Fewer people died in motor vehicle accidents last year and put the country's traffic fatality rate at a low we haven't seen in over fifty years.
The bad news is that Californians aren't as safe as people in other parts of the country (except for in Texas). California's rate of fatal accidents has increased, with pedestrians and bicyclists being especially high-risk subjects.
In fact, throughout the entire country, the rate of cyclist and pedestrian deaths has increased while the overall rate of traffic deaths went down. It seems as though drivers are sharing better with other drivers, but not with others.
California can stand up to lead the way for improved pedestrian and bicyclist safety. An effort is moving forward to do so that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced this week. Some of the most dangerous intersections of Los Angeles will be improved with redesigned, repainted crosswalks.
Intersections are common areas where bike and pedestrian accidents occur because drivers so often fail to stop properly at crosswalks. The new repainted crosswalks will allow more space and, therefore, time for drivers to stop in order to prevent them from hitting bikers or walkers.
The updates to Los Angeles intersections won't be made until March of next year. Even with them, it is up to drivers to comply with traffic laws to avoid hurting others.
Our law firm has experience helping bikers and pedestrians who have been injured because a driver failed to respect traffic laws and their shared rights to the roads. Visit our Pedestrian Accident page to learn more about this legal matter.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Traffic deaths up in California, at six-decade low across U.S.," Ari Bloomekatz, Dec. 17, 2012