According to some admittedly confusing pedestrian fatality statistics, the city of San Francisco is on pace to have one of its worst pedestrian safety years in roughly a decade. The city has suffered six pedestrian fatalities in 2013 according to the source article (but, the source also notes other stats that show five pedestrian fatalities due to a possible overlap in annual stats for 2012).
When you consider that pedestrian fatalities steadily declined over most of the 2000s (from 32 in 2000, all the way down to 13 in 2008), the early trend of 2013 is alarming. San Francisco is a major pedestrian hub, a city that sees many of its citizens embrace walking to and from practically anywhere (the dense nature of the city certainly doesn’t hurt, either).
The mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee, is expected to address some of the serious pedestrian safety issues facing the city soon; especially in District 7, which has played unfortunate hosts to three of the six pedestrian fatalities this year.
A key member of a San Francisco pedestrian advocacy group had an interesting take on the aftermath of pedestrian accidents: “Too many times, drivers who injure and kill pedestrians see no penalty at all.” That can be partially true (often those drivers that cooperate with emergency responders and police after the wreck are cleared, so long as negligence did not play a role in the crash), but it also doesn’t take into account that victims of pedestrians accidents (or their families) can sue the driver in civil court.
Granted, this is more a small sense of justice for the victims and their loved ones. However, it can earn crucial compensation to help pay for rehabilitative efforts and medical bills that are directly attributed to the accident.
Source: Streetsblog San Francisco, “After 6 Ped Deaths in 3 Months, SF Needs City Hall Action on Street Safety,” Aaron Bialick, April 2, 2013
- To learn more, please visit our San Francisco pedestrian accident page.