Pedestrian Crashes are Getting Out of Hand in California
Pedestrians have a right to feel safe on California’s roads. But all too often, people are injured by negligent drivers while simply trying to walk from point A to point B. California is a beautiful state, and a walk down a street in the Sunshine State should be something everyone can experience without fear of being struck by an out-of-control car. Judging by the string of recent pedestrian crashes across California, that goal seems out of reach. Some pedestrians have suffered life-altering trauma and injuries, while others have lost their lives. Those concerned with pedestrian rights are all asking the same thing: What is the government doing to improve safety for average people walking down the street?
Pedestrians Struck Near Elementary School
On January 12, 2023, it was reported that many pedestrian accidents had occurred near Westwood Elementary School near San Diego, prompting serious discussions with local government representatives. Three pedestrians were struck by vehicles within a two-week period near the school. In one accident, a mother and her child were struck. In another accident, a lone child was hit. This obviously sparked an uproar among parents, who were furious that these accidents happened so close to the school. They might have been gravely concerned after the first accident, but the San Diego Tribune reports that they were absolutely “livid” by the second collision.
That being said, police say that speed was not a factor in either of the accidents, and no life-threatening injuries were reported. These crashes sparked a special meeting with police representatives, however, who instructed pedestrians to make eye contact with drivers prior to crossing. In addition, police instructed drivers to scan both sides of the road and yield to pedestrians at marked and unmarked crosswalks. Finally, police stressed the importance of not stopping inside crosswalks, as it can be difficult to see people approaching from the sides when they are not moving.
Man Killed in Laguna Beach Pedestrian Accident
On January 30, it was reported that a man lost his life after a pedestrian crash in Laguna Beach. The accident occurred at about 3 AM, and police arrived at the scene to find a man lying in the street with fatal wounds. The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with the police, who later stated that drugs and alcohol were not factors in this incident. The crash is still under investigation, however, and police are urging anyone with information to come forward.
Pedestrian Gets Caught in Multi-Vehicle Collision
On January 22nd, it was reported that a pedestrian somehow became involved in a multi-vehicle crash, losing their life in the process. The incident occurred in Citrus Heights, and it involved two separate vehicles and a pedestrian. Police immediately reported that they weren’t quite sure what caused the accident, although speed was apparently a factor. It’s also not clear how the pedestrian got involved.
Pedestrian Accidents Are a Real Issue in California
Californian pedestrians have a higher chance of dying than pedestrians in any other state, with a fatality rate 70% higher than the national average. One of the worst years in recent memory was 2015, when 813 pedestrians were killed in California and a further 12,000 injured. Between 2006 and 2015, almost 7,000 people died in pedestrian-related crashes throughout California.
The Los Angeles Times later reported that of the 312 people who were killed in Los Angeles crashes, half were struck by cars while walking. The article then went on to mention several improvements that could help reduce these deaths, including raised crosswalks that are more visible to drivers. Other suggestions include narrower car lanes to reduce speed, lower speed limits, and more tickets issued by police officers.
But many of the simplest improvements have been unfinished and unfunded for years. The article highlighted the case of Alessa Fajardo, the four-year-old who lost her life while walking to school in Koreatown. Three years have passed, and the city of LA has failed to install protected left-turn signals to stop accidents like this from happening again.
That being said, California has just introduced a new law for pedestrians that allows people to legally jaywalk for the first time. Those caught jaywalking will not face a fine, but this only applies when the road is clear of cars. This law comes after data from US Berkeley revealed that twice as many people die while crossing outside of a crosswalk compared to those crossing within crosswalks.
It should be noted that this new law would have virtually no effect on a plaintiff’s ability to sue. California may bar victims from suing if they behave in a negligent manner, and jaywalking is unfortunately a clear sign of negligence. Although the new law might allow people to walk across the road without fear of being fined, the legality of the crossing goes out the window as soon as a vehicle approaches. That being said, it may still be possible to sue and receive a settlement if you were jaywalking at the time of the accident – so speak with a lawyer about your legal options.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in California?
If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in California, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured victims – including pedestrians who have been struck by negligent drivers. We have also assisted surviving family members who have lost loved ones in pedestrian crashes. With our assistance, you can pursue justice and compensation for your damages.
These damages might include unpaid medical expenses, missed wages, emotional distress, and many others. You should never have to pay for these damages out of your own pocket if someone else caused your accident, so get in touch today and book your first consultation. During your consultation, we can discuss your unique situation and determine the best course of action. Take action now.