California has long had a problem with pedestrian safety. The state has struggled with making sure that pedestrians, cyclists and motorists can all share the road together without problems arising. While numbers of these deaths have decreased, they still remain concerning to officials.
California’s new efforts
In 2011, California had 625 pedestrian deaths, which accounted for 22 percent of all deaths in motor vehicle accidents, according to data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. This is well above the national average, which sees pedestrians accidents account for 13 percent of deaths in all traffic accidents.
The state has created many task forces aimed at addressing problems in the community. These groups are studying all potential methods of improvement, including making changes to roadways and educating residents on steps that they can take to improve safety.
These efforts mirror some of the actions taking place at the national level. Deaths in pedestrian accidents high in many communities, and various federal agencies are proposing new strategies to address these concerns. The U.S. Department of Transportation has started a new program designed to decrease the amount of pedestrian deaths occurring throughout the country, and will make grant money available to those communities hardest hit by these accidents.
The agency is also concerned with the increase in pedestrian accidents that can be attributed to distracted walking. They have started new safety campaigns that increase awareness of some of the dangers of distracted walking for both pedestrians and motorists, which it hopes will make roadways safer.
Motorists should always be alert while driving through a residential neighborhood. Pedestrians may try to cross the road at any time, even in unmarked areas. Never speed by other vehicles stopped at crosswalks. Be especially careful when driving through school zones or while driving at night.
Pedestrian accidents often result in extremely serious injuries for the victim, which will require extensive medical care and rehabilitation. Many of those who have been hit by motor vehicles will suffer spinal or brain injuries, which may lead to major life changes.
Contact an experienced lawyer
While you are recovering from your injuries, you may be frustrated by the other party’s unwillingness to pay the full extent of your medical bills. Frequently, insurance companies will try to get you to release them from future liability, and their offers are made at a time when you need the money the most. Do not agree to their terms until you discuss your claims with someone who has handled these types of claims in the past.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, it is important that you speak to an experienced personal injury attorney right away. An attorney can advise you of the terms of the offers you are receiving, and also pursue compensation on your behalf should the offers not meet your needs.