San Diego witnesses spike in deadly pedestrian accidents

Worrying increase leads to proposal for tougher state laws against hit-and-runs

San Diego is witnessing a significant increase in deadly hit-and-run accidents involving pedestrians. According to U-T San Diego, last year the county witnessed a threefold increase in the number of pedestrians killed in hit-and-run accidents. The increase in San Diego is somewhat in contrast to a national trend that has seen pedestrian deaths stay roughly the same across the United States in recent years. Police are having a hard time explaining the increase since hit-and-run cases are often difficult to solve, but a proposed "Yellow Alert" system could improve the situation.

Pedestrian fatalities rising

While overall hit-and-runs in San Diego County declined last year from 559 in 2013 to 489 in 2014, pedestrian fatalities are way up. In 2013, seven pedestrian were killed in hit-and-run collisions, whereas in 2014 that figure had jumped to 23. Nationally, according to the Forbes, pedestrian accidents have remained roughly the same in recent years, although California is among just four states (the others being Florida, Texas and New York) that together account for more than two-fifths of the nation's pedestrian fatalities.

Hit-and-run accidents are notoriously difficult to solve, leaving police in San Diego with few explanations for the increase. In many cases, however, they say that drivers flee the scene of a collision either because they do not have insurance or because of financial difficulties.

"Yellow Alert" system

California lawmakers, however, will soon consider a bill that could help crack down on hit-and-run drivers. The bill, AB 8, would create a "Yellow Alert" system based on the current Amber Alert used to find missing children. If passed, an alert would be sent out using highway message with a description of a hit-and-run driver. A similar system used in Colorado led to a significant increase in the number of hit-and-run cases that were solved by police.

The same lawmaker behind the Yellow Alert system has also introduced a separate bill that would increase penalties against hit-and-run drivers. He says the disturbing number of hit-and-run accidents in cities like Los Angeles and San Diego demand lawmakers take a tougher stance on the offense. The bills will both be considered by lawmakers during the current legislative session.

Legal representation

While a pedestrian or bicycle accident can leave victims feeling helpless and confused, assistance is at hand. People who have been injured in an accident should reach out to a personal injury attorney today. Because pedestrian accidents tend to result in serious injuries, victims will often need considerable medical care and treatment, which can become costly. To help ease this and other financial costs, an experienced attorney can advise accident victims of what options they may have regarding claims and compensation.