Tips From a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 7,000 pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2021. More than 60,000 pedestrians suffered injuries in traffic accidents.
These shocking statistics highlight the importance of pedestrian safety and the need to take certain measures to avoid pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians and motorists have an equal obligation to follow traffic laws and obey the rules of the road.
If you or someone you know was injured in a pedestrian accident, contact our pedestrian accident attorney in Whitter at (562) 550-7676.
How Pedestrians Can Avoid Injury
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies four major risk factors in pedestrian accidents: speed, location, vehicle size, and alcohol use.
- Higher vehicle speeds increase the chances and severity of a pedestrian accident case.
- Most pedestrian deaths occur on urban roads with high speed limits and commercial retail space.
- SUVs can cause more harm to pedestrians than smaller cars because of their weight and size.
- Alcohol was involved in nearly half of the pedestrian accident cases in 2021, either for the driver or the pedestrian.
Despite the high number of pedestrian crashes in the U.S., pedestrians can take safety precautions to protect themselves from a negligent driver or another road hazard.
Walk On Sidewalks When Available
All pedestrians are urged to walk on sidewalks whenever they are available. Walking on the road increases your chance of being hit by a car.
If no sidewalk is available, then walk as far away from the roadway as possible and walk facing oncoming traffic. Maintain as much distance from you and the vehicle as possible.
Cross Streets at Crosswalks
Always cross the street at a crosswalk. Drivers are trained to see pedestrians at designated crosswalks, not in the middle of the street. Wait until you have the walk sign and make eye contact with the driver before stepping into an intersection.
If no crosswalk or intersection is available, cross in an illuminated area where you have a full view of oncoming traffic. Allow enough time to cross the street safely.
If a driver hits a pedestrian, especially at night, their reasoning may be “I didn’t see the pedestrian.” This can very well be true if the pedestrian was wearing dark clothing, which makes it nearly impossible for drivers to spot walking pedestrians.
When walking during the day or night, wear bright or reflective clothing so drivers can easily see you. You can even carry a small flashlight.
Do Not Use Alcohol or Drugs
Alcohol and drug use can be just as dangerous for pedestrians as it is for drivers. California law states that public intoxication that interferes with the safety of others is a misdemeanor. If convicted, the pedestrian could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Alcohol or drugs leads to impaired judgment and a slower reaction. If a pedestrian is intoxicated and darts into the middle of the road in front of oncoming motor vehicles, they could be held liable. Speak to personal injury attorneys to learn more about shared liability in pedestrian accidents.
It is all too common to see pedestrians looking down at their phones or texting while walking. This can lead to serious accidents where the vehicle may have had the right of way, but the pedestrian was not paying attention. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most common pedestrian accident injuries.
Pedestrians should also avoid using headphones or earbuds when walking close to traffic or crossing at an intersection. Staying alert and keeping your eyes on the road will keep you safe.
What Can Motorists Do to Avoid Pedestrian Accidents?
Drivers have a shared responsibility to avoid colliding with pedestrians. They must follow the rules of the road and yield to pedestrians. Motorists who speed and run red lights may hit a pedestrian and cause a severe injury or death. These types of tragic cases are becoming increasingly common, especially in dense urban areas like Los Angeles.
Yield to Pedestrians
Pedestrians always have the right of way at crosswalks and intersections. Oftentimes, a driver will not wait for a pedestrian to completely cross the road, which puts them in danger of being hit. Drivers must give extra time to older and visually impaired pedestrians who require more time crossing the street.
Never Drive Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (DUI) is a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the circumstances. It is against the law for a person to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or greater. The law is even stricter for commercial drivers and underage drivers. Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of fatal traffic accidents in the U.S.
Follow posted speed limits, especially in areas where pedestrians frequent, such as shopping centers. Drivers must also slow down in school zones and in neighborhoods where children may be present or playing in the street.
What Is a Pedestrian Accident Claim?
Pedestrian accident claims are considered personal injury claims. In this type of claim, the pedestrian seeks compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. While a pedestrian accident claim is usually filed against a motor vehicle driver and their insurance company, it can also be filed against a property owner or government agency if they contributed to the accident. Drivers will use their bodily injury liability coverage to cover the pedestrian’s damages.
A pedestrian accident lawsuit rarely makes its way to court, and is usually settled in negotiations. Experienced pedestrian accident attorneys can help with the negotiation process and ensure the victim receives fair compensation for their injuries.
Do You Need a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
Pedestrian accident injuries can be both physical and emotional. If you sustained severe injuries in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to seek compensation in a pedestrian accident claim. While filing a claim on your own is possible, you will have a much greater chance of a higher settlement when you work with a pedestrian accident lawyer.
Greenleaf Law Group is a top Whittier personal injury law firm with a winning track record of success. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars in settlements for injured victims of pedestrian accidents. Contact us for a no obligation, free consultation at (562) 550-7676 or by filling out an online contact form. Let us help you with your pedestrian accident lawsuit today.