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How to Reduce Pedestrian Accidents


How to Reduce Pedestrian Accidents

I’m Ed Smith, a North Highlands personal injury lawyer. With about 6,000 pedestrians dying from accidents involving motor vehicles in 2017, this represents an increase of 11 percent from the previous year. A preliminary study shows that this makes it the most dangerous year for pedestrians in two decades. The good news is that pedestrian deaths fell 11 percent in California. There are safety measures that can be taken by both pedestrians and drivers to help reduce the number of pedestrian accident injuries and fatalities.

What Drivers Can Do to Help Reduce Pedestrian Accidents

  • Drivers should realize that pedestrians don’t always cross the street at crosswalks and may be distracted when walking. Drivers can help avoid accidents by using extra caution and not assuming that a pedestrian knows they are there.
  • Use extra caution in inclement weather, at dawn or daybreak and in the nighttime hours. Pedestrians may not always be dressed appropriately and be harder to spot.
  • Follow traffic laws. Speeding, running stop signs and making turns without signaling can cause accidents with pedestrians.
  • Other places to stay watchful and use extra caution are near schools, hospitals and in residential neighborhoods. Places where large numbers of people are present and where there are children increase the risk of an accident.
  • Drugged driving or drunk driving decreases a motorist’s reaction time and adversely influences judgment.
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk. The vehicle may be stopped to allow a pedestrian to pass.

Pedestrian Safety Tips

Pedestrian behavior contributes to accidents with motor vehicles. Pedestrians also have a duty to protect themselves while walking in order to avoid accidents.

  • Crosswalks at intersections are designed to provide the maximum safety for pedestrians. Jaywalking can cause an accident because the motorist does not expect a pedestrian to cross in the middle of a block. In addition, the motorist may not see a pedestrian stepping out between two vehicles.
  • Distracted driving isn’t only a concern for motorists. Pedestrians are also guilty of texting or talking on a phone while walking. This increases the likelihood of an accident.
  • Hybrid vehicles, because they make no sound, require that a pedestrian keep a close lookout. Do not depend on hearing a vehicle approaching.
  • Lack of visibility causes pedestrian accidents, especially after dark, at dawn or dusk or when it is raining, foggy or snowing. Wear bright-colored clothing when walking. During bad weather, reflective strips and carrying a flashlight can help.
  • Cross streets at corners or crosswalks where drivers expect to see you.
  • Stay on the sidewalk whenever possible.
  • Face traffic and walk on the shoulder when sidewalks are not available.

Incidence of Pedestrian Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported about 70,000 injuries and 5,376 deaths of pedestrians in 2015 that were caused by motor vehicle accidents. The numbers in Sacramento and the surrounding county in 2015 were as follows as reported by the California Office of Traffic Safety:

  • Sacramento reported 228 injuries and fatalities of pedestrians. This is out of the total of 4,502 deaths and injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents.
  • Sacramento County reported 11,710 deaths and injuries in vehicular accidents in 2015. Of those, 535 were pedestrians. Seventy one of those killed or injured were 15 years old or younger.

Related Articles by North Highlands Personal Injury Lawyer, Ed Smith:

North Highlands Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a North Highlands personal injury lawyer. When faced with pedestrian accident injuries or a family member’s death because of negligence, please phone (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice. I also have a toll-free number at (800) 404-5400 and a form to fill out online if you prefer at

Many Sacramento residents and those in the surrounding county have relied on me over my 35 year career to help them get the compensation they need following an accident. My practice encompasses a wide variety of personal injuries, including traumatic injuries such as brain injuries and cases of wrongful death.

To read what others have said about my practice as an injury lawyer and how I have helped others, please visit:

Visit, a forum where I am a California member. Only trial lawyers with a record of verdicts and settlements of at least $1 million for clients are entitled to join this group.

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