Risk Management guru John Pryor contributed a very worthy "community voice" editorial to the Bakersfield Californian a few weeks ago. It had an immediate positive impact, but we'd also like to pass along some of Mr. Pryor's commentary here.

The editorial reveals a tragic uptick in the number of pedestrian accidents occuring within the City of Bakersfield during 2017. According to Mr. Pryor:

We can consider how Bakersfield compares with other cities. Benchmarking tells us lots about how we are addressing this risk. Because of variable population density of different cities, these data are usually shown as "fatalities per 100,000 population." For Bakersfield, this number for 2016 was 7.44 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 population. At this rate so far for 2017, we could end the year at 12.6! Hopefully the ultimate 2017 rate will be much lower.

Here's how we compare in pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 population with other California cities, from federal government sources:

  • Fresno: 2.77

  • Los Angeles: 2.14

  • San Diego: 2.06

  • San Jose: 1.46

California's statewide rate is 2.18. Our national rate is 1.75. Based on these data, Bakersfield has an opportunity to save a substantial number of lives.

But, Pryor also points out that focusing resources on repairing conditions at past accident locations can lead to dramatic safety improvements that reduce future pedestrian accidents. Here are some of the items Pryor urges the City to consider:

  • Was the pedestrian in a marked crosswalk?

  • Was the accident during daylight or after dark?

  • Was the pedestrian wearing dark- or light-colored clothing?

  • Are certain sites subject to repeat occurrences?

  • Was either alcohol or drugs a contributing factor?

  • Was car speed a factor?

When our team of personal injury attorneys begins evaluating cases involving auto-pedestrian collisions in Bakersfield and other municipalities we look at each of these things as well as other potential dangerous conditions such as whether the sidewalk was located midblock or whether additional signage is warranted. In some cases, crosswalks and other road features can be so dangerous as to constitute a kind of trap for unwary pedestrians.

If you or a loved one has been hurt as a result of a dangerous crosswalk or other condition of public property, please feel free to contact us directly, so that we can help the injured person recover and prevent others from being injured at the same location.

Resource: John Pryor's Community Voice.

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