Pedestrian accidents on the rise

Posted at 11:34 PM, Mar 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-10 11:26:49-05

It's a scary moment behind the wheel, slamming on your brakes to avoid hitting a person or bicycle rider, but it's happening more and more.

It's a problem that causes accidents and statistics show that these types of accidents are on the rise.

Within the last week there have been at least three crashes involving pedestrians and cars causing both major and minor injuries. 

On Tuesday night, an accident in Oildale left one person with major injuries. Drivers say it’s common to see people crossing when they don't have the right of way or when there’s no designated cross walk.

"It’s hard to make that sudden stop, sudden move or whatever you may have to do," says driver Harold Pierce.

A national study released this week by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association revealed that pedestrian deaths were up 7% last year across California.

"I hear that pedestrians have the right of way but you know, if you look at the reality of it, you're not going to be the one alive if you get hit,” said Terry Birks, who says he sees the problem mostly in downtown Bakersfield.

In Bakersfield, there were 15 fatal accidents between a pedestrian or bike that was hit by a car in 2015.

"They don't realize how fast cars travel and if they're carrying things with them or pushing shopping carts, you know it takes them that much longer and by that time sometimes it's too late," says Sergeant Gary Carruesco, public information officer with the Bakersfield Police Department.

Some drivers think a lack of crosswalks is the issue but others say they see pedestrians that completely ignore them.

According to BPD, when there is an accident involving a pedestrian, the crosswalks are not being used.

"The majority of the time the pedestrian is at fault for being in the roadway, for crossing outside of the crosswalk. The crosswalks are there for a reason," said Sergeant Carruesco.

BPD says they do patrol and cite people not using the crosswalks in hopes that people will listen. As for drivers they say slow down, and be aware of people around you.