A driver has a duty to use care toward pedestrians because the act of driving
involves an instrumentality capable of inflicting injury or death. A driver
must exercise a higher degree of care toward child pedestrians than adult
pedestrians because of the unpredictability of the conduct of children.
A driver should therefore anticipate the thoughtlessness and impulsiveness
of children and act accordingly. The care required is greater still when
the driver knows that small children are in the immediate vicinity.
Generally, a driver has a duty to anticipate at all times that he or she
may meet pedestrians at any point in the street or highway, to maintain
a proper lookout for them, and to keep his or her motor vehicle under
such control as will enable him or her to avoid a collision with persons
exercising ordinary care and caution for their own safety.
The driver of a motor vehicle must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian
crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked
crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided by the Vehicle
Code. California Vehicle Code, § 21950(a). Moreover, if a pedestrian,
though not within a crosswalk, is not more than one or two feet outside
the limits of an unmarked crosswalk when he or she is struck by a vehicle
passing through the unmarked crosswalk, the same rules are applicable
as if the accident had occurred within the unmarked crosswalk.
When any vehicle stops at a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk at
an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver
of any other vehicle approaching from the rear must not overtake and pass
the stopped vehicle. California Vehicle Code, § 21951. In addition,
the driver of any motor vehicle, prior to driving over or on any sidewalk,
must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian approaching on the sidewalk.
California Vehicle Code, § 21952.
A driver's violation of the California Vehicle Code sections providing
for the pedestrian's right-of-way, or any other violation of the statutory
rules of the road that proximately causes injury to a pedestrian, may
raise a rebuttable presumption of negligence.
If you or a loved one was injured by a vehicle in an auto versus pedestrian
accident, please contact us today.