When a car or truck accident involves a pedestrian, it's just not a fair fight. A new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association reveals just how unfair that fight is-- over 6,000 pedestrian deaths stemming from car accident crashes in the U.S. in 2017 alone. Why such a high number? There are numerous reasons why car accidents involving pedestrians are so deadly but two new factors are credited with the rise in the annual total: smartphones and marijuana use.
States in which marijuana was legalized saw an increase of almost 17% in pedestrian deaths that year. The report is quick to add a caveat to the two new potential pedestrian death factors, "While the report does not find or imply a definitive link between these factors and pedestrian deaths, it is widely accepted that both smartphones and marijuana can impair the attention and judgment necessary to navigate the roadways safely behind the wheel and on foot."
Of course that last part of the statement is an important one-- it is not just blaming the drivers that might be high or distracted by their phone but also noting that pedestrians can be equally unaware as a result of using either marijuana or their phone. Some cities have been increasingly cracking down on the use of smartphones while walking on major streets. Earlier this year, we blogged about Honolulu's ban of smartphones while walking (deemed "Distracted Walking") in an effort to make the commute safer for everyone. There was also a recent report that linked the ever addicting PokemonGo smartphone game to an increase in car accidents.
When it comes to determining who is responsible for a Calabasas car accident, police and insurance are always trying to determine if someone was in any way distracted from their obligation to pay attention to the road. For a distracted driver, this can greatly increase their liability, especially when a pedestrian death is involved. For a distracted pedestrian, this could limit or eliminate their ability to file a personal injury lawsuit if it is found that they actions (or distractions) caused the accident. If you have recently been injured or lost a loved one as a result of a Calabasas car accident, get in touch with your friends at Walch Law today to discuss your case further-- we are available 24/7 and here to help answer your questions and maximize your recovery. We look forward to hearing from you.