According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 6,205 pedestrians were killed in traffic collisions last year alone, totaling 17% of all traffic-related deaths and reaching the highest number of fatalities of those on foot in three decades.
Five states — including California, Texas, Arizona, Florida, and Georgia — accounted for 47% of all U.S. pedestrian deaths, despite making up only 33% of the country’s population.
At Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes, Inc, our personal injury attorneys in Fresno know that when someone is hit by a vehicle, no matter the car, truck, or SUV’s speed, their injuries are often catastrophic, if not deadly.
Here are a few tips for both pedestrians and drivers to stay safe while we share our city.
California Pedestrians Must Walk With Caution
While it is true that pedestrians have rights to the road — and often the right of way — they must walk with caution and proactively look for drivers who may not see them.
Pedestrians can help keep themselves safe by:
- Obeying all signs and signals, so they are not entering dangerous traffic patterns
- Walking with their heads up, not looking down at a cellphone or another electronic device
- Crossing streets at intersections and crosswalks
- Walking on sidewalks, when they are available, or facing traffic — as far away from oncoming vehicles as possible — when sidewalks are not available
- Being visible, especially when walking at night, by wearing reflective material, lights, or brightly colored clothing
- Avoiding alcohol and drugs when walking, so judgment is not impaired
Pedestrians should never assume that a driver sees them, even when they have the crossing signal. Look twice before crossing the street, driveways, parking lots and garages, to ensure you have been identified by any oncoming drivers before proceeding.
Drivers Owe Pedestrians a Duty of Care, Too
Whether they are walking to lunch, exercising, or simply enjoying time outside, pedestrians are everywhere in Fresno, and throughout California.
Just as pedestrians must ensure a driver sees them before walking in front of them, drivers must look for pedestrians too, as road safety is a shared responsibility.
Drivers can help keep pedestrians safe in some of the very same ways those on foot can, including:
- Always keeping their eyes on the road, and never driving distracted
- Slowing down and using caution at night or during fog or rain
- Never driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Stopping at all crosswalks where individuals have the right of way
- Never passing vehicles stopped at crosswalks
- Avoiding speeding in high pedestrian traffic areas, school zones, and neighborhoods
If you or someone you love has been hurt or killed in a pedestrian accident, contact our experienced pedestrian accident lawyers in Fresno at Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes, Inc today by calling (559) 436-0850 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and our customized legal strategies to help pursue the negligent party for your full financial recovery.