Walking While Distracted - Distracted or Negligent Driving Can Cause Pedestrian Accident!
Walking while distracted can be dangerous. There was a report that a 20-year-old student was killed by a bus in Orange County recently while jogging and listening to music. There is another report which states that a 31-year-old California man and a 39-year-old Alaska woman were both hit by trains while on their phones. Similarly, the most dangerous risk faced by pedestrians is negligent driving including:
- Using cell phones, MP3 players, tablet computers, iPods and other similar devices while driving
- Drivers that are not attentive in pedestrian zones like intersections, school zones
- Running traffic signals and stop signs
- Drunk drivers and drivers on medications whose perception, reflexes, judgment and reaction time are compromised
- Speeding in residential areas where children are likely to be at play
Cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles can all be involved in pedestrian accidents. Speeding can be a major contributing factor to pedestrian accidents because a speeding driver is less likely to see pedestrians or to be able to stop quickly enough to avoid hitting them. When cars collide with pedestrians, there is a strong possibility that there will be a fatality as the human body is simply not equipped to withstand the impact from a moving projectile weighing thousands of pounds. Catastrophic injuries and wrongful death are common when motor vehicles collide with pedestrians in California. The National Highway Traffic Association and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tell us that overall, 6,957 pedestrians were killed in California between 2000 and 2010. Pedestrian fatalities account for 11% of all motor vehicle fatalities in California and about 69% of pedestrian fatalities are male. Speeding is a leading cause of death in a pedestrian accident - a pedestrian has an 85% chance of death in a crash at 40 mph; a 45% chance of death in a crash at 30 mph; a 5% chance of death at 20 mph. 40% of pedestrian fatalities occurred where there was no crosswalk nearby. Elderly pedestrians are more likely to die from injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident.
Here are a few Safety Recommendations For Pedestrians
- Be alert when crossing the street. Do not assume that all drivers see you, even if they come to a stop. Make eye contact with all drivers before crossing. And never step into the roadway if there is inadequate time for oncoming drivers to slow down.
- Have someone escort you to your residence or another place of safety if you have been drinking. Your judgment of oncoming traffic and suitable places to cross the roadway may be significantly impaired if you have consumed alcohol.
- Whenever possible, cross a roadway at marked intersections. Visual cues such as stop signs, flashing lights, and paint on the roadway all give cues to drivers that they need to exercise caution. Stoplights often provide ample time for pedestrians to cross in both directions. In addition, marked intersections are typically better-lit than other parts of the roadway at night.
- Always stay on the sidewalk. If you must walk in the roadway (i.e. there is no sidewalk), remain in highly visible sections and walk against the flow of traffic. Exercise extreme caution around sharp curves and in shaded areas.
- Stay as visible as possible if you are walking at night by wearing light-colored clothes or reflective tape.
- Be careful at intersections. Even though drivers are required to yield the right of way, many do not.
If you or someone in your family is a victim of a pedestrian accident, it is important to consult with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney who is familiar with the California pedestrian accident laws. If you have a claim it must be filed within 2 years of your accident or you will lose your rights to seek a legal remedy. An experienced California pedestrian accident lawyer may seek damages for your economic losses and non-economic losses including punitive damages. Scott D. Hughes is an experienced Orange County pedestrian accident attorney who understands the devastating toll of injuries suffered in a pedestrian collision. He may be able to answer your questions and advise you regarding your legal rights and remedies. Please feel free to visit or contact us for a comprehensive discussion of your personal injury claims.