February 12, 2013—Anaheim, California—Three women, two of them a mother and daughter, were killed when a driver suspected of being drunk hit them as they walked in the street, according to the Orange County Register. The crash occurred in the 100 Block of South Western Avenue near Lincoln.
The 56-year-old victim and her 21-year-old daughter, along with the woman’s 21-year-old niece, were walking along South Western Avenue when they were struck by the 40-year-old driver. The niece died at the scene and the mother and daughter died after being transported to a local hospital. They were on their way home from a baby shower at the time of the crash. The driver was uninjured but a female passenger in his car was taken to the hospital with facial injuries.
The area where the collision occurred has a bad reputation for speeding, according to residents I the area. The road is an arterial road dotted with apartments, homes and businesses, and residents believe the speed limit should be lowered.
Arterial Roads Site of Many Pedestrian Crashes
Arterial roads are those that feed into major freeways or highways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1,605 of California’s 2,791 traffic fatalities in 2011 occurred in urban areas, or about 58 percent. Many of these accidents occurred on arterial roadways; one study estimated that 55 percent of the daily traffic in Los Angeles County is on arterial roadways rather than major freeways, making these roads extremely congested and dangerous for pedestrians.
Liability Issues in Pedestrian Crashes—Who is To Blame?
California law insists on responsibility on the part of both drivers and pedestrians to maintain safety. Since pedestrians are often injured much more seriously than divers, however, it behooves pedestrians to pay close attention to traffic and to adjust their own actions accordingly.
According to the California Motor Vehicle Code, pedestrians are to yield the right-of-way to any vehicle that constitutes an immediate hazard. However, Section 21954 of the code goes on to note, “The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.” This means that a driver may be liable for an accident even if the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk at the time, especially if the driver was speeding, drinking or in some other way engaging in negligent behavior.
What Can I Do If I Am Injured In A Pedestrian Crash?
If you are the victim of a pedestrian collision, it is wise to consult a personal injury lawyer about your rights. Victims of pedestrian crashes may be able to collect damages from the driver who hit them. In a case in which a pedestrian is killed by the driver, the surviving family may be able to collect damages with a wrongful death lawsuit. A personal injury attorney can explain the laws that surround these types of crashes and the options available to victims or families regarding compensation.