Residents in Orange County enjoy one of the nation’s best climates, allowing them to spend more time outside and be more active outdoors with greater ease than in other parts of the country. This fits in well with the area’s reputation for being a healthy place to live. Unfortunately, it seems that this ability to walk or run in good weather virtually year-round puts people in danger all too often.
As reported by The Verge, the number of pedestrian deaths across the United States has experienced a tragic and dramatic upward trend in recent years. In fact, the number of pedestrians killed in vehicular accidents in 2018 was the highest in 28 years. Pedestrians now represent an average of 16% of all traffic deaths nationally.
The picture for pedestrians in Orange County is even less rosy than it is nationally. According to records provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a whopping 31% of all vehicular fatalities in 2018 in the county were pedestrians, up from 27% the prior year. Orange County seems to have a bigger problem with pedestrian safety than the state as a whole. In 2018, pedestrians represented 25% of the state’s total accident deaths compared to 31% in Orange County alone.
Both the state and the county have experienced something of an up-and-down trend regarding pedestrian fatalities, but the percent of people on foot killed in accidents compared to all accident deaths remains higher than the national average. Between 2014 and 2018, pedestrians accounted for anywhere between 24% and 33% of all people killed in traffic accidents in Orange County.