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Keeping pedestrians safe in California

On average, a pedestrian is 1.5 times more likely to die in a traffic accident compared to an occupant in a motor vehicle. In 2012, a pedestrian was killed in a traffic accident every two hours on average and was injured every seven minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This translated to 4,743 deaths and 76,000 injuries in that year. Those over the age of 65 and children between the ages of 5 and 15 are most likely to be involved in auto-pedestrian accidents.

Most traffic accidents involving pedestrians take place in areas where there are no sidewalks or traffic lights. In the event that there is no sidewalk, pedestrians are encouraged to walk in the direction facing traffic. Additionally, they are advised to wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight when walking at night.

Alcohol plays a large role in these accidents, and both pedestrians and motorists have been found to be under the influence of alcohol prior to an accident. Overall, 48 percent of accidents involving motor vehicles and pedestrians in 2012 were alcohol-related, according to the NHTSA. Research indicates that 34 percent of pedestrian victims had a blood alcohol content higher than .08 percent while 14 percent of drivers involved in pedestrian accidents had a blood alcohol content of .08 percent.

Those who have been injured in an auto-pedestrian accident caused by a negligent motorist may be entitled to compensation for their injuries, including medical expenses and lost wages if they are unable to return to work after the accident. Injured victims may wish to seek the help of a personal injury attorney to determine the process for filing a lawsuit against the responsible party.

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