When you think of dangerous sports and activities, walking probably does not come to mind, but safety reports show that walking is in fact a dangerous activity in Los Angeles, throughout California, and across the country. In 2017, there were close to 6,000 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in the United States and this number does not account for the pedestrians who survived accidents, but sustained severe injuries. Pedestrian accidents have been on the rise in the past 10 years and California, a state that sees hundreds of pedestrian fatalities each year, ranks number 15 for states with the greatest number of pedestrian versus motor vehicle fatalities.
Pedestrians face dangers every day and even though it is not possible to avoid all accidents, it is possible to reduce your risk of injury when out for a walk. Based on the pedestrian accidents our attorneys see in their offices on a regular basis, pedestrian accident attorneys have compiled a top ten list of ways to reduce your risk of injury as a pedestrian.
Ten ways to reduce your risk for a pedestrian injury
- Even though it is tempting to listen to your favorite music or podcast while out for a walk or a run, take earbuds out to not only reduce distraction, but also to hear automobiles, sirens, and construction equipment.
- Put down the smartphone to reduce distractions and to look out for potential dangers including approaching automobiles and conditions in sidewalks and crosswalks such as obstructions, cracks, and uneven pavement.
- Cross the street at nearby crosswalks when available and do not assume that just because you have the right of way, cars on the road are going to stop. It is a good idea to make eye contact with drivers so that you know that they see you.
- Walk on roads with sidewalks when you can and avoid roads that do not have sidewalks.
- Pay attention when crossing driveways and alleys because often vehicles pull out looking for other vehicles on the road rather than pedestrians on the sidewalk.
- Walking under the influence may not be illegal, but a large percentage of pedestrian accidents occur when the pedestrian has been drinking.
- When there are no nearby marked crosswalks, cross at intersections, even if that means taking a long way, instead of crossing in the middle of the road.
- Make yourself visible at night by wearing light-colored reflective clothes and wear a headlamp or carry a flashlight, especially when street lighting is poor.
- Watch out for the bicycle lane. Often pedestrians are so focused on cars on the road that they forget to look out for bicycles as they attempt to cross the street. Pedestrians can suffer serious injuries in bicycle accidents.
- Look around parked trucks and other obstructions that may be blocking a driver’s view of you before stepping out in a crosswalk.
Pedestrian accident liability
As previously mentioned, it is not possible to avoid all pedestrian accidents, especially those caused by someone else’s negligence. Liable parties in pedestrian accidents may include government entities, automobile drivers, bicyclists, scooter operators, and property owners. If you have sustained injuries in a pedestrian accident, contact a Los Angeles attorney at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg to schedule a consultation.