Minor Critically Injured in Sacramento Pedestrian Accident
A pedestrian accident in Sacramento left a 12-year-old girl in critical condition on October 16. The accident happened in front of the Prairie Elementary School on Valley Hi Road near Pegler Way. Police who responded to the pedestrian accident arrived at 6:50 p.m. According to Sacramento Police spokesperson, Officer Karl Chan, the child’s injuries were classified as critical, but reports from the hospital on October 17 indicate she is expected to survive. The motorist remained at the scene and cooperated with police. An investigation as to how the pedestrian accident occurred is ongoing. There is no indication that drugs or alcohol were involved.
Pedestrian Accidents by the Numbers
There were 6,227 fatal pedestrian accidents in 2018, according to the Governor’s Safety Council, an increase of 250 from the previous year. This is a 41 percent rise over what was reported in 2008. Sixteen percent of all fatal crashes include a pedestrian. In addition to such fatal accidents, there were roughly 129,000 pedestrians treated in emergency rooms around the country. If the number of pedestrians who are injured but do not present to an E.R. are taken into account, the total is likely much higher.
Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen?
The vast majority of pedestrian accidents (78 percent) occur in an urban setting where there are more walkers. Eighteen percent of walkers are injured or killed in intersections of all types. Most occur at night and on Saturday. Other than on Sunday, the number of fatal accidents and injuries during daylight hours are consistent. The lowest number of crashes occur on Wednesday night. Areas around schools are ones where motorists are required to use exemplary care. If they fail to do it, the penalties may be increased.
Reasons for a Pedestrian Accident
There are many different reasons for accidents involving walkers. Some of the most common are:
- Intersections: Crossroads are often a site for pedestrian accidents, with the number being the highest in an unmarked crosswalk.
- Distraction: Both pedestrians and drivers alike are often distracted by electronic devices. Texting will take a walker’s or a driver’s focus off the road. This lapse in focus causes the individual to be oblivious to another person sharing the road with them or the presence of a stop sign or traffic light. Listening to music is particularly dangerous for a pedestrian since they might not hear a vehicle approaching.
- Left-hand turns: Many pedestrians are injured or killed by a driver making a left-hand turn. The motorist may not be looking for a walker or is too busy paying attention to traffic to take notice. On the other hand, the pedestrian may be looking straight ahead, watching the traffic signal. More people are struck by cars that are making a left turn than those turning right.
- Lack of marked crosswalks: This is a problem when crossing the street or walking in a parking lot where drivers are trying to find a space. When marked crosswalks are available, it is safer for a pedestrian to use them. Municipal authorities decide where marked crosswalks will be placed. If many pedestrian accidents happen at a particular crosswalk and the city does not add a marked area for pedestrians to cross, the city may also be responsible.
- Wearing dark clothes: It is important for pedestrians to wear reflective clothing at night or carry a flashlight so drivers can see them. During the daylight hours, wearing bright colors helps.
- Quiet cars: Today’s battery operated cars make much less noise than their gas-powered counterparts. Since walkers use both their ears and eyes to spot dangers, these vehicles make the streets more dangerous for pedestrians.
- Alcohol: Drinking and driving is a factor in many accidents.
- Speeding: Speeding through an intersection is a major cause of accidents.
What Is California Doing to Lower Accidents?
Aside from installing more crosswalks and updating equipment, the state is using community education as a tool to make the streets safer for pedestrians. Presentations are being done in schools and other community venues to make both drivers and pedestrians more careful. Motor vehicle laws aimed at pedestrian safety are also being enforced. Children are receiving positive reinforcement when they display safety skills while walking.
What an Attorney Can Do to Help
Pedestrian accidents are frightening, especially when a child is injured. Our investigative team is dispatched to the scene of the accident to gather evidence as to fault. We do that by interviewing witnesses, obtaining video footage from traffic surveillance cameras, and searching for clues as to why the accident happened. Once this evidence is amassed, we release it to our legal team for use as they build a strong case against the defendant.
Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. If you or your child were injured due to negligence in an accident while crossing the street or walking on the sidewalk, you have the right to be compensated for financial damages. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or at (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. I can also be reached online.
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