A recent San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office report reveals that pedestrian deaths hit their highest level in more than two decades in the county in 2016, while deaths caused by the drug methamphetamine reached an all-time high.
There were 103 pedestrian fatalities in the county in 2016 — the highest number since 1994. Officials believe that the ever-present distractions of cell phones and mobile devices is the top reason for the large number of fatalities.
Meanwhile, meth killed 240 people in the county last year. That was four times as many people who died from the drug in 2000.
These rising fatality numbers in San Diego County are in line with national trends. San Diego’s local numbers of homicides, suicides and accidental drug overdoses have also continued to trend upward in recent years, alarming local officials.
By the numbers
The Medical Examiner’s Office investigated approximately 8,500 cases of sudden or suspicious deaths last year, taking jurisdiction in more than 3,000 of those cases and conducting nearly 1,900 autopsies. According to the report, the most common causes of death by category were:
- Accidents (47 percent of the deaths, including overdoses, crashes and other types of accidents)
- Natural (33 percent, with conditions such as heart attacks and cancer)
- Suicides (14 percent)
- Homicides (4.1 percent)
- Undetermined (1.7 percent)
These rates were consistent with previous years. However, the rising numbers of pedestrian accidents and all vehicle-related crashes in general are of concern. There were 307 total vehicle-related deaths in 2016, including 14 pedestrian deaths. There have been 12 pedestrian deaths so far in 2017.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, speak with an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire right away.