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Why Pedestrian Accidents are at a 30-Year High Across the U.S.

At Downtown Law, our Riverside pedestrian accident attorneys know that some of the most catastrophic injuries and tragic wrongful deaths occur when a person on foot is hit by a motor vehicle.

These unthinkable collisions took over 6,200 lives across the nation last year, accounting for 17% of all traffic-related deaths, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This is the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in three decades.

Even more startling, our very own state of California, and four others — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Texas — that make up 33% of the U.S. population, combined to account for 47% of all pedestrian deaths throughout the country last year.

The bigger question is, why are so many pedestrian accidents occurring, and what can we do about it?

California Drivers Owe Pedestrians a Duty of Care

In addition to drivers who are speeding, impaired, or disobeying traffic signs and signals, those using smartphones and other electronic devices behind the wheel have led to significant increases in pedestrian accidents in California and across the U.S.

When someone is looking down at their cellphone, GPS, or another onboard vehicle electronic system, it is impossible to see someone crossing the street in front of them. In addition, failing to keep your eyes on the road can lead to swerving into walking paths, and pedestrians waiting at intersections, or even onto sidewalks.

Drivers can help keep pedestrians safe by:

  • Avoiding speeding in high pedestrian traffic areas, neighborhoods, and school zones.
  • Stopping at all crosswalks and intersections where pedestrians have the right of way.
  • Always keeping their eyes on the road, and never driving distracted.
  • Slowing down and using caution at night, or during fog or rain.
  • Never driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Negligent drivers can take anyone on foot by surprise, causing significant injuries and tragic fatalities without notice. If you or someone you love has been hit by a negligent driver, we want to hear your story, so we can help you pursue the liable party for your complete damages.

How California Pedestrians Can Help Avoid Accidents, Too.

When pedestrians are navigating cities or neighborhoods on foot, they have certain rights to the road, and typically the right of way when using crosswalks, intersections, sidewalks, and paths.

It is up to them, too, to help stay safe when drivers are not observing their full duty of care.

They can do so by:

  • Crossing streets at crosswalks or intersections, or in a well-lit location when they are not available.
  • Looking for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right when crossing the road.
  • Following the rules of the road and obeying traffic signs and signals.
  • Walking on sidewalks whenever they are available or facing traffic and keeping a safe distance when they are not available.
  • Waiting for gaps in traffic that allow enough time to cross safely.
  • Watching for cars entering and exiting parking, garages, lots, or driveways.

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent driver in California, contact our skilled personal injury attorneys at Downtown Law today by calling (888) 843-5290 to schedule a free consultation.

We will fight for the realistic financial recovery you are entitled to, so you can focus on your physical and emotional well-being.

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