Watch where you walk: San Francisco motorists are on a rampage.
An average of two to three people are hit by cars every day, according to an analysis by the Chron. Killer cars are implicated in almost half of San Francisco's traffic deaths, although that number has decreased somewhat in recent years, according to the MTA. Public health advocates are calling it a crisis.
That's far worse than other comparable cities. New York, London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo all have fewer fatalities per 100,000 residents. That might be due, in part, to the city's successful drive to get people out of their cars and onto bikes, feet, and mass transit. But now that residents are leaving cars behind, they're finding that the city can't provide adequate protection from dangerous drivers.
Between 2004 and 2008, treating the over 3,000 injured pedestrians cost the city $171 million.
The primary causes of pedestrian fatalities: aggressive and inattentive drivers. Highways are also a risk factor, since accidents rise as you get closer to freeway ramps and wide one-way streets like Fell and Oak along the panhandle. The city is investigating lowering speed limits to 15 mph in some neighborhoods, but the only definitive solution to ending car crashes is to get rid of the cars.
Bayview, SOMA, the Tenderloin, and the Financial District are the most dangerous parts of town. Perhaps not coincidentally, most of the cars in those areas belong to people who don't live there.
If you're going to venture out in December, keep your wits about you: this is one of the most dangerous times of the year for pedestrians, due to large crowds, less daylight, and plenty of boozy drivers.