California suffers the highest rate of pedestrian injuries and fatalities in the country.
Two drivers in Santa Rosa were using their cell phones when they crashed into pedestrians. An 18-year-old was using FaceTime video when he struck Gabriela Rosas, 20, who was hospitalized with serious head injuries.
Rosas was at the crosswalk when she was, “catapulted into the air and landed on the asphalt.”
Rafael Chavez, 39, was talking on this cellphone when he dropped it. As he leaned over to retrieve it, his Acura swerved into a parked Ford pickup. The impact caused the Acura to flip and hit a pedestrian.
In Carson, a pregnant woman and her unborn baby were killed in a crosswalk by a 62-year-old man. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.
Both cases were referred to the DA.
Since 1990, there are more pedestrians suffering serious auto injuries. Pedestrian deaths account for 16% of motor-vehicle accidents, up from 12% a decade ago. All other traffic deaths grew by less than 5% [
Governors Highway Safety Association
Blame is placed on increased use of smartphones for both driver and pedestrians. Most fatal injuries are after dark. Alcohol and drugs are a major factor. The seven states that legalized marijuana from 2012 to 2016, show 16.4 % increase for pedestrian fatalities during the first half of 2017 in those states.
- Bigger penalties for not using hands off smartphones;
- Stop buildings from encroaching bicycle lanes that squeeze traffic on major streets;
- Improve street lighting; and
- Offering better pedestrian warnings.