With a focus on healthier lifestyles, more people are out walking, hiking and jogging near California roadways, and this has led to some alarming trends related to pedestrian safety. As more people are now walking, we are also living in a busier society with others rushing to get to their destinations. These two factors have led to an increase in pedestrian accidents throughout the state.
Pedestrian accident statistics
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, California is one of five states that accounted for 47% of pedestrian accidents in 2019. The state had almost 1,000 pedestrian accidents that year, an increase of 12% from 2018. Throughout the United States, pedestrian fatalities now account for 17% of all roadway deaths.
Pedestrian accidents are not always the fault of the person driving the car. Walking in an unsafe manner makes you more likely to be involved in an accident. If walking at night, be sure to wear brightly colored clothing and carry a flashlight. Avoid drinking if you will be walking in an area with heavy traffic. Always walk on the sidewalk and cross at marked intersections. Make eye contact with drivers to be sure that they see you. Don’t text or talk on your phone as you walk because it can take your attention away from traffic. When crossing the street, look right, then left, then right, then left again to be sure there are no vehicles coming.
Follow the speed limit and do not use your phone while behind the wheel of your car. At night or in bad weather, be extra vigilant when around areas where pedestrians are common. Remember that pedestrians have the right-of-way in crosswalks, so be sure to yield to them. If your car has a backup camera, use it when there are pedestrians in the area, especially small children who may dart behind you quickly. Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and don’t indulge in distracted driving. These simple tips can help you avoid pedestrian accidents.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident either as a driver or a pedestrian, it is important to speak to an attorney. You should understand what rights you may have under the law.