Parts of Southern California are excellent for pedestrian traffic, but other parts are not. Even when good city planning includes foot-navigable sidewalks and safe street crossings, there is little that can be done to prevent an injury if a negligent driver disobeys traffic laws and hits a walker or runner.
Still, pedestrians can take some reasonable safety precautions to help ensure that they make it safely to their destinations and back home again.
Tips for Pedestrians
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, which is supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration, offers these basic safety tips for pedestrians:
- Awareness of surroundings: Simply being aware of nearby vehicles and obstacles while walking can reduce the risk of a collision. If you can spot a veering vehicle before it jumps the sidewalk or illegally turns into a crosswalk, you might be able to dodge an accident.
- Use caution at intersections: Intersections generally have signals and lights to help control the flow of traffic, including foot traffic. However, you should use caution before crossing in these areas, even if you have the right of way. Negligent drivers sometimes run red lights and fail to look for pedestrians when turning.
- Stand clear of hedges, parked vehicles and other obstructions: In many cases, drivers don’t see pedestrians when they stand next to or step out from behind structures that block the driver’s view. Try to cross the street in an area where drivers have time to see you before you step onto the road.
- Consider the lighting and the brightness of your clothing: Sticking to well-lit areas and wearing bright clothing are two other ways to increase your visibility.
In many cases, driver negligence is the cause of pedestrian accidents, and collisions with pedestrians often result in catastrophic injuries. Anyone who is dealing with the aftermath of such an accident should explore every legal option for obtaining the maximum available compensation for medical bills and other costs resulting from the crash.