Close X

California Pedestrian Accidents


MICHAEL REHM - (800) 978-0754


Unlike occupants of a car, pedestrians are not protected by airbags or a steel cage. Unlike motorcycle riders and some bicyclists, pedestrians do not wear helmets. Pedestrians are the most vulnerable victims of California traffic accidents.

When pedestrian accidents are not fatal, they often cause catastrophic injuries. Lesser injuries often lead to long-term disabilities. Children and older people are disproportionately victimized by pedestrian collisions.

California Pedestrian Accident Statistics

From 2015 to 2019, between 14,087 and 15,200 pedestrians were injured each year in collisions on California roads. In 2019, 972 pedestrians were killed in collisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) projects that the final statistics regarding pedestrian accident injuries in 2020 will be similar to 2019.

Unfortunately, California pedestrian accidents are on an upward trend. California's Office of Traffic Safety reports that the problem of pedestrian accidents is reaching “crisis proportions.” California's pedestrian fatality rate grew more than 25% between 2015 and 2019. California's pedestrian accident fatality rate is nearly 25% higher than other states.

The pandemic has probably had little impact on pedestrian accident statistics. Fewer people may have been walking when stay-at-home orders were in effect, but drivers have taken advantage of reduced traffic congestion by driving faster. Speeding is a key factor in California pedestrian accidents.

Not surprisingly, the largest California counties tend to have the largest volume of pedestrian accidents, although that correlation is far from perfect. The counties with the highest numbers of pedestrian accidents and fatalities are:


Injuries 2015-2019

Fatalities 2015-2019

Los Angeles



San Diego



San Francisco









Santa Clara



San Bernardino









San Francisco County's relatively small fatality rate probably reflects San Francisco's commitment to becoming a pedestrian-friendly community. We applaud all California communities, including Santa Barbara, Redwood City, Santa Monica, and Long Beach, that have made aggressive efforts to improve pedestrian safety and reduce the number of collisions with pedestrians.

Causes of California Pedestrian Accidents

Distracted driving is the leading cause of pedestrian accidents. While drivers can be distracted for many reasons, driving while texting, reading messages, or scrolling through smartphone screens has been a serious problem for several years.

California prohibits texting and most other use of handheld electronic devices while driving. Disobedience of traffic laws is strong evidence of negligence. A driver who collides with a pedestrian while texting is almost always held responsible for injuries that the collision causes.

Trying to beat a red light and striking a pedestrian in a crosswalk is another regular cause of pedestrian injuries. Collisions are also caused by drivers who make a right turn on red without checking for pedestrians in the crosswalk of the street the driver is entering.

Drivers who rely on the limited view provided by a rearview mirror are responsible for collisions when they back into pedestrians. Drivers who exit a driveway or parking lot cause accidents when they fail to look for pedestrians before crossing a sidewalk.

In some cases, pedestrians are partially at fault by crossing the road outside of a crosswalk or against a “Do Not Walk” light. In California, however, an injured pedestrian can recover compensation from a driver who has any responsibility at all for an accident. Compensation is awarded in proportion to fault. For example, if a pedestrian is 40% at fault, the pedestrian can recover 60% of full compensation.

California Pedestrian Accident Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are among the most serious nonfatal outcomes of a collision between a pedestrian and a motor vehicle. Brain injuries often make it impossible for accident victims to return to their former employment. Victims may need a lifetime of specialized care from home health aides, occupational therapists, speech therapists, psychologists, neurologists, and other professionals.

Spinal injuries can cause seriously disabling conditions, including quadriplegia and paraplegia. In addition to requiring compensation for future healthcare and home care expenses, victims often need to acquire wheelchair-accessible vehicles and to remodel homes to accommodate wheelchairs.

Crush injuries may require surgical repair of internal organs. Broken bones, knee and hip injuries, and jaw injuries may also require surgery. Damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments may require long-term rehabilitation. Road rash might require months of treatment to avoid sepsis.

California Pedestrian Accident Attorneys

The injuries that each pedestrian suffers in a collision are unique to that individual. California Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Michael Rehm understands that each accident victim has a story to tell — a story of pain, suffering, physical and emotional trauma, financial hardship, and despair. To see how Attorney Michael Rehm can explain your story to the insurance company or a jury of your peers, call (800) 978-0754 for a free, confidential consultation, anytime.

MICHAEL REHM - (800) 978-0754

Southern California Areas Served:

Phone: (619) 787-3456 Areas Served: San Diego, Vista, Chula Vista, El Cajon, Escondido, San Marcos, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, El Centro, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Clarita, Glendale, Lancaster, Palmdale, Pomona, Torrance, Pasadena, El Monte, Downey, West Covina, Norwalk, Burbank, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Costa Mesa, Riverside, Corona, Moreno Valley, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Ventura, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Temecula, Bakersfield, Clovis, and everywhere in between.

Bay Area Areas Served

Phone: (831) 431-0986 Areas Served: Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, Watsonville, Salinas, Monterey, Seaside, Carmel, San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, Berkeley, Livermore, Concord, Richmond, Walnut Creek, Antioch, San Rafael, Novato, San Jose, Morgan Hill, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Gatos, Napa, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Fairfield, Vallejo, Vacaville, Dixon, Solano County, San Benito, Daly City, San Mateo, South San Francisco, Redwood City, Belmont, San Carlos, San Bruno, Pleasanton, Union City, San Leandro, Milpitas, Pittsburg, Danville, Rohnert Park and the entire Bay Area.

Northern California Office & Areas Served

333 University Avenue; Suite 200 Sacramento, CA 95825 Phone: (916) 233-7346 Areas Served: Sacramento, Elk Grove, Antelope, Citrus Heights, Carmichael, the friendly confines of Land Park, Folsom, Yolo, Woodland, West Sacramento, Davis, Placerville, South Lake Tahoe, Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills, Auburn, Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Yuba City, Marysville, Wheatland, Colusa, San Joaquin County, Lodi, Manteca, Stockton, Tracy, Lathrop, Modesto, Turlock, Oakdale, Stanislaus County, Humboldt County, Arcata, Mckinleyville, Fortuna, Eureka, Butte County, Oroville, Paradise, Chico, Mendocino, Ukiah, Colusa, Shasta County, Redding, Calaveras, Yreka, Amador, Jackson, Lassen, Susanville, Plumas County, Quincy, Nevada County, Grass Valley, Nevada City, Truckee, Lakeport, Sonora, Madera, Crescent City, Trinity, and all of Northern California.