It’s been a bad stretch for motor vehicle collisions with pedestrians in Orange County recently. There have been several high-profile incidents already this month, and with December usually ranked as one of the worst months for pedestrian crashes, we’re bound to see more before the new year.
Pedestrians are advised to be extra cautious at this time of year, and drivers—who, after all, are behind the wheels of the most dangerous element of the collision equation—are urged to be more alert than usual during the winter months.
Different Circumstances, Similar Results
The first crash happened in Huntington Beach on the 7th. A man who was walking in one of the northbound lanes of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) near Seapoint Street was struck and killed around 5:30 in the morning. The driver who struck him stayed at the scene, and part of highway was closed for more than four hours.
The following evening, just a few miles farther north on PCH, a woman was struck and hospitalized in serious condition at First Street in Seal Beach. That driver also stayed on the scene.
Just a couple of hours earlier in Garden Grove, a seventy-one-year-old man was struck as he crossed Brookhurst Street near Bixby Ave. That victim, unfortunately, died at the scene. The driver in that collision also stayed on the scene.
The fact that all three of these drivers stayed on the scene is unusual but a welcome change, considering that, in recent years, California has had a big problem with hit-and-run drivers.
Seasonal Increase in Risk
In 2015, Orange County ranked a better-than-average forty-fourth among California counties in pedestrian injuries and fatalities, with 938 total incidents. Statewide, California saw 742 pedestrian deaths that year.
But those incidents aren’t evenly distributed from month to month. The shorter daylight hours at this time of year always bring more danger: During the winter months (December, January, and February), nearly two-thirds of all pedestrian fatalities occur between 3 p.m. and midnight. In fact, two of the three incidents mentioned above were in that time window.
Orange County Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Despite the best intentions of ambitious programs like Road to Zero, pedestrian traffic fatalities are likely to be a concern well into the future. When you find yourself the victim of a car crash, whether as a motorist or a pedestrian, it’s important to work with a firm with years of experience helping clients secure fair compensation.