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3 Orange County california pedestrian accidents give cause for concern.

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James E. Ballidis
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Orange County experienced three pedestrian deaths in less than a 24 hour period last week. All incidences were unrelated, but two of the three accidents happened on Pacific Coast Highway within 3 miles of each other. The third accident occurred in the city or Orange.

PCH is a long coastal highway that has been the scene of several pedestrian accidents in the past few years due to its scenic nature and varying speed limits. In some sections there are pedestrian walkways and bicycle paths and other areas the cars barely have enough maneuvering room.

In all three of these terrible accidents, the pedestrians were crossing the street. In one case in Seal Beach, the man was crossing against a red light. The other two cases the police are unclear whether the victims were in a crosswalk.

Last year over 642 pedestrians were killed in California crashes alone and 4,378 nationwide. Approximately 20% of California auto accidents involve a pedestrian and California leads the nation in pedestrian traffic fatalities. In most of these accidents, the victims were crossing the street.

If struck by an automobile, a pedestrian has a 45% chance of dying when the automobile speed is just 30 mph and a 85% chance of death with an increase of 10 mph, just 40 mph. Whenever there is an encounter between an automobile and person, there is a high risk for a serious injury. Often pedestrians experience traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, fractured bones and possible permanent injuries due to the fact that usually the accident involves the full brunt force of the automobile.

Although there are numerous factors that can contribute to pedestrian accidents, one of the biggest factors is speed. Additionally, add the fact that most of these accidents occur in the evenings between 5pm and midnight, obviously with limited visibility, it is literally an accident waiting to happen.

Improving design of roadways, improving community and educational programs all can aid in preventing pedestrian collisions. New roadway engineering changes can have the greatest impact of separating vehicle and people. Some effective separation measures are: improved signal timing and more illumination at sidewalks, creating under and overpasses at busy roadways and installing refuge islands in the meridians of busy two way streets.

Although driver are required by law to yield for any pedestrian in a marked or unmarked crosswalk, there are several things pedestrians can do to make their walking experience safer.

·    Try to always walk on a sidewalk. However if you must walk in the street, walk facing traffic.
·    Cross only at designated crosswalks whenever possible. Look left, right, and left again before crossing the road.
·    If you know you will be walking at night, increase your visibility by wearing reflective or light clothing that is more easily visible to drivers.
·    Be especially careful at intersections where a driver is turning right and may not see pedestrians.

Category: Pedestrian Accident

1 Comments to "3 Orange County california pedestrian accidents give cause for concern."

how many accidents happen in O.C. in a week? Just a observer on how bad drivers are in O.C.
Posted by kirk Swayne on April 21, 2010 at 05:40 PM

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