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Everyone is a pedestrian

You may spend most of your time driving from one location to the next, since it saves time, even on crowded California roads. However, this does not mean that you are never a pedestrian. In fact, you are a pedestrian each time you get into your vehicle or leave it. Whether you are hiking a few blocks to the grocery store or walking across the parking lot, you can suffer an injury because of a reckless or inattentive driver.

This might not surprise you. You might remember a few times as you were driving through a crowded parking lot and a person you didn’t initially see darted in front of your car. Being much smaller than vehicles, pedestrians are difficult to spot, especially for those who are backing out of a parking space or making a turn. The following tips might help you stay safe from motor vehicles when you are on foot:

  • Make eye contact with drivers and make sure they have stopped before stepping out in front of them.
  • Always cross the street at a designated crosswalk.
  • Be especially careful in busy parking lots or intersections.
  • Watch out for vehicles that are backing out of parking spaces or leaving driveways.
  • Wear light-colored or reflective clothing or carry a light if you are walking after dark.
  • Stay alert and watch for approaching vehicles as you are crossing the street.

Each year, accidents with motor vehicles kill roughly 7,000 pedestrians and injure 100,000 more. Elderly people and children are among the most vulnerable victims of pedestrian accidents. The problem is especially dire in California. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 867 pedestrian deaths in California in 2016, a higher number than the previous nine years. A judge may hold a driver responsible for your expenses if you sustain an injury in a pedestrian accident.