Pedestrian accidents have increased in California, partly due to increased numbers of people choosing to walk or ride a bicycle. According to the National Highway Traffic Association, in 2020, pedestrian accidents were responsible for over 6,500 deaths and 55,000 personal injuries.
Preventing pedestrian accidents – motor vehicles
Drivers must exercise reasonable care to help prevent pedestrian accidents. This means that drivers should take extra precautions when driving in areas where pedestrians are and follow the road laws regarding turning, speeding, and crosswalks.
Pedestrian accidents are often a result of:
- Distracted driving
- Failing to yield at crosswalk
- Improper right turns
- Driving under the influence
The most common place for a pedestrian accident is at an intersection where a vehicle turns right. The second most common area for pedestrian accidents is near parked vehicles. When pedestrians enter the roadway from between parked cars instead of at a walkway, they place themselves at risk. Drivers and pedestrians must take caution at intersections so that all parties are seen.
Preventing pedestrian accidents – pedestrians
Pedestrians must also use caution when they are using the roadways. Accidents involving pedestrians almost always result in severe or catastrophic injuries because pedestrians do not have the same physical protection as the people within the vehicle.
All pedestrians are encouraged to:
- Wear reflective clothing at night
- Use hand signals to indicate directions
- Cross at designated cross areas
- Cross with signals
- Adhere to pedestrian laws
A pedestrian is anyone using the road or walkways who is not inside a motorized vehicle. This includes people walking, jogging, bicycling, skateboarding, or other similar activities.