As we read the news each day, it seems like we see another tragic story about a pedestrian accident.
Last month, a man was struck and killed in Oceanside on Mission Avenue just east of Mesa Driver by a driver who was later charged with felony drunk driving, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and felony child endangerment. Our hearts and sympathies go out to both families as they cope with this tragic accident.
However, this story highlights the seriousness of pedestrian accidents and the need to take steps to avoid being injured by a reckless or negligent driver. As a car accident lawyer, I see the devastation caused by pedestrian accidents and I want to do more to help prevent these tragedies before they occur. Below are pedestrian safety tips gathered by my staff that we would like to pass along to our friends, families, neighbors, and others in hopes that everyone will be safe as we enjoy walking along our beautiful streets.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
Walking is an excellent form of exercise, is better for our environment, and is a great way to spend quality time with your family and friends. However, walking can also be a dangerous activity due to careless, reckless, and negligent drivers. In 2014, California led the nation with the highest number of pedestrian fatalities for the second year in a row even though pedestrian fatalities decreased five percent between 2013 and 2014. We need to do more to educate everyone on the perils faced by pedestrians.
To keep yourself and your children safe as you enjoy walking or jogging, remember these pedestrian safety tips.
- Always cross streets and roads at designated crosswalks or intersections when possible. The law requires that drivers yield the right of way to pedestrians in a crosswalk; however, always look both ways and try to make eye contact with drivers to ensure the driver sees you before crossing.
- If you are walking at dusk, dawn, or night, carry a flashlight, wear brightly colored clothing, and use reflective items to increase your visibility.
- Avoid distractions such as reading or using electronic devices while walking and jogging. Never wear headphones — you may be unable to hear warnings from drivers or others.
- Always walk on the sidewalk if available. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the shoulder of the road, facing traffic, as far off the road as safely possible.
- Read, understand, and obey the provisions contained in the section of the California Vehicle that pertains to pedestrians.
- Avoid walking after consuming alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and drugs impairs your physical reflexes, decision making skills, and other abilities that can keep you safe.
- Except in an emergency situation, avoid walking on a highway or other roadway where pedestrians are prohibited. If possible, contact emergency services instead of walking.
- Walk or jog with others whenever possible. This increases your visibility and reduces the risk of a predator targeting you.
- Remain in well-lit areas if possible, especially when you are crossing the street.
- Never assume a driver will stop to yield the right of way. Always pause and make sure the driver is coming to a complete stop before entering a crosswalk or road.
For more information about pedestrian safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website for pedestrians — Everyone Is A Pedestrian. You will find additional pedestrian safety tips, resources, guides, and periodic newsletters.
Parents can visit the Safe Kids website for resources and tips for teaching their children about pedestrian safety. The website has resources you can download and videos you can watch with your children.
Contact an Experienced Carlsbad Car Accident Lawyer
A monetary award will never change what has happened to you and to your family; however, you have the right to hold the negligent driver responsible for your damages, losses, and injuries. The only way to do this under California’s personal injury laws is by filing a pedestrian accident claim seeking compensation from the at-fault driver.