Walking is said to be declining over the recent decades. This may be attributed to the massive number of people who opt to drive cars and other motor vehicles rather than walk. Although that doesn’t mean there are zero people on sidewalks today, every pedestrian becomes even more at risk of getting involved in an accident, especially in urban areas. While the number of deaths in pedestrian accidents has declined drastically over the past decades, they still account for about 14 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths in the U.S. In fact, in 2012, there were 4,743 recorded deaths in the whole nation; a figure that is slightly up from the previous year, in which the federal government tallied 4,457 fatalities. In California, one of the vehicle-centric states in the U.S., there were 625 people who were killed in pedestrian accidents in 2011, according to the state’s Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). Said figure was a nearly 4-percent increase from the previous year, in which the state agency recorded at least 601 fatalities.
The statistics mentioned above demonstrates a lot of things. For one thing, pedestrians are one of the most vulnerable road users; it’s obvious that they are not protected from anything that would shield them from the impact of a collision. These incidents, in fact, can truly be avoided had the motorists involved were extra careful with their driving. Indeed, these mishaps are obviously caused by negligence, particularly on the part of the motor vehicle drivers involved.
As it is, driver error or misconduct is one of the primary causes of pedestrian accidents. But how do drivers cause these mishaps? Here are some of them:
- Pedestrians have the right of way on the road; however, there are some drivers who fail to recognize them. They fail to yield at crosswalks, where there is most likely a pedestrian who might try to cross the street.
- Pedestrians are even more at risk of getting seriously injured or instantly get killed if drivers disregard them while they are crossing the street. It is a must for drivers to exercise caution at all times, especially when they see people already crossing the street. Accidents happen because motorists assume that pedestrians see them and that they must stop before they can get to the other side of the road. Again, pedestrians always have the right of way.
- Numerous pedestrian accidents involve drivers who were intoxicated. As it is, they post a high likelihood of either injury or death to pedestrians, regardless of the location of the latter. There have been incidents wherein people who were struck by vehicles were walking on sidewalks.
Such unfortunate occurrences are devastating, especially for the victims who were either injured or killed and their loved ones. If you are one of them, or you are an immediate family member of someone who died, then you must be able to seek the expertise of an attorney in California who handles pedestrian accident cases.
By hiring a pedestrian accident lawyer that specializes in accidents involving pedestrians in California, you may be able to obtain the rightful and complete amount of compensation you need to cover for all the damages you incurred, including your wages and capacity to earn, your medical expenses and future medical care, and other pain and suffering damages.