A 10-year-old girl is fighting for her life after being struck by a vehicle in Oxnard. According to reports, the girl was crossing the road just before 7 PM when she was suddenly hit. The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene while the child was airlifted to a nearby hospital. Police are still investigating the crash to understand why it happened. Drugs and alcohol are not believed to have been a factor. Even if the driver was sober, he may still be financially responsible for the girl’s injuries and suffering.
Pedestrian Accidents in Oxnard
The young girl wasn’t the only pedestrian involved in a car accident in Oxnard that fateful day. Earlier in the day, a man was killed when he was hit by a car while crossing Mariposa Street. Pedestrian accidents aren’t uncommon in Oxnard. However, this phenomenon is relatively new. In recent years, the number of accidents involving pedestrians has skyrocketed.
In 2014, Oxnard was the safest city for pedestrians when compared to other cities of similar size and population. That year, there were only four reported pedestrian accidents. One of those involved a child under the age of 15, while two involved seniors.
By 2016, Oxnard had become one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians, when compared to other similarly-sized cities. That year, there were 101 pedestrian accidents reported in Oxnard. More than 20 percent of those accidents involved kids under the age of 15. Another 14 percent involved elderly pedestrians aged 65 and over.
Why Are Pedestrian Crashes Becoming More Common?
There are a few reasons why pedestrian accidents are happening more frequently in Oxnard and other California communities.
More Traffic: Statistics indicate that there are more cars traveling in and through the state of California. This may be thanks, in part, to improvements int he economy. More people are working and more people are traveling. Congested roads often equal trouble for pedestrians.
Road Design: Roads are designed to accommodate high-speed traffic, not pedestrians and bicyclists. When roads are jam-packed, it becomes more difficult for pedestrians to navigate safely. Increased traffic, paired with a lack of dedicated pedestrian infrastructure, creates a dangerous situation.
More Pedestrians: There aren’t just more cars on the road. Many people, particularly young people, are choosing to walk rather than drive. If there are more pedestrians sharing the road, pedestrian-related crashes are more likely to occur.
Distracted Pedestrians: Drivers aren’t the only ones distracted by their phones. Studies show that pedestrians are looking at their phones rather than paying attention to the traffic around them. As a result, they’re increasingly walking into traffic when it’s not safe.
Pedestrians Can Get Money If They’re Injured
Pedestrians generally have the right of way in California. If a pedestrian is lawfully crossing the road at an intersection or marked crosswalk, drivers have to yield the right of way. Traffic can only continue once the pedestrian is out of harm’s way. If a pedestrian is struck while crossing the street, they can often recover compensation for their injuries.
Drivers may be able to limit a pedestrian’s recover if that pedestrian is partly to blame for their own injuries. Under California comparative fault law, anyone who contributes to an accident -including victims – can be financially responsible. If a pedestrian isn’t paying attention or crosses the road illegally, their ability to recover compensation may be limited. An award can be reduced by the degree to which the pedestrian is at fault.