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The California Office of Traffic Safety reported that 893 pedestrians died in 2018 across the state and more than 14,000 were injured. While our law firm represents pedestrians and their families in personal injury cases, we would prefer these incidents did not occur in the first place. Here are four steps to help increase your safety on California’s streets as a pedestrian.
There is an increasing amount of advocacy, technology, and laws coming out to prevent drivers from using their phones while behind the wheel, but they are not the only ones whose distraction can cause a crash. If you are a pedestrian you are also responsible for situational awareness. This includes looking up from your phone while walking, especially if you are going to cross a street, and paying attention to the traffic during an outside phone conversation. A study in Accident Analysis and Prevention Journal found that males and people under the age of 31 are most at risk for pedestrian injuries.
If you plan to be out in the evening hours after the sun has set, consider wearing a jacket with reflective accents. Many athletic shoes also have reflective accents and while those are low to the ground, your feet are in motion while walking, which can make those reflective pieces easier for a driver to see. While it is ideal to have a bright light such as required by cyclists, even a cell phone flashlight can help prevent you from tripping while also making you more visible to traffic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of all pedestrian fatalities involved alcohol consumption by either the driver or the pedestrian. One out of every three of those deaths involved a pedestrian with a blood alcohol level of above the legal driving limit. Of course, it is safer for others if you walk home after a night of driving, but it does not mean your life is safer. Consider walking with someone who is sober, stay on the sidewalks, and if you must cross the street do so at a designated crosswalk.
According to the California Air Resources Board, electric and plug-in hybrid cars make up 7.8 percent of all new car sales across the state in 2018. While this is good news for the environment, it means pedestrians need to be extra aware on the road because electric cars do not make as much noise while driving. Subsequently, in 2017 Wired reported that electric cars were 37 percent more likely to be involved in a pedestrian crash than a traditional vehicle. Make sure to look for cars and do not just rely on your hearing one coming.
If you were injured by a vehicle while walking, you likely have sustained minor if not severe injuries. Let the skilled San Jose pedestrian accident attorneys at Solution Now Law Firm help you seek compensation for those injuries through a personal injury claim. To learn more, schedule a free consultation by calling our offices.
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