The California Office of Traffic Safety has announced that September is California Pedestrian Safety Month for the second straight year. According to a news report in the Santa Clarita Signal, the campaign began last year in response to the rising number of pedestrians being killed and injured on California roadways. The Signal reports that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will join other law enforcement agencies, city and state transportation agencies, pedestrian advocates and walking clubs to raise public awareness among walkers and drivers to share the road responsibly.
Police agencies will conduct pedestrian safety enforcements. The California Office of Traffic Safety continues to remind motorist that “Pedestrians Don’t Have Armor.” This public service announcement highlights the importance of pedestrian safety awareness, regardless of whether one is on foot or behind the wheel.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
In 2016 alone, 892 pedestrians were killed in California, accounting for more than 24 percent of all traffic deaths in the state – up from 17 percent a decade ago. During the same year, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies investigated 35 fatal pedestrian accident and another 69 major injury crashes. Most injuries suffered in pedestrian accidents are life changing and permanent.
Tips for Drivers and Pedestrians
There are steps both drivers and pedestrians can take to help ensure pedestrian safety. Drivers should be alert. Remain vigilant at all times. Follow the posted speed limits at all times especially in areas of heavy pedestrian traffic. Use extra caution if it’s raining or if visibility is poor. Be mindful of pedestrians when you pull into or out of driveways especially if you are backing up. Be sure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. When approaching a crosswalk, reduce your speed and be prepared to stop. Don’t pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. Never operate your vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Don’t drive when you are distracted or fatigued.
Pedestrians should try to be visible to drivers at all times. Make eye contact with drivers when possible. Wear bright clothing at night and stay in well-lit areas especially when crossing the street. Avoid distractions while walking. Put your cell phone away. Smartphones and handheld electronic devices are a daily part of life, but they take your eyes off of the road and distract your attention. Don’t wear headphones. Follow the rules of the road and walk only in areas designated for pedestrians. Don’t walk while impaired.
If You Have Been Injured
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation and pain and suffering. Contact an experienced California pedestrian accident lawyer who will fight for your rights and help hold the at-fault parties accountable.