As many San Jose residents are aware, our city has historically had a problem with pedestrian accidents. While pedestrian accidents have been on the rise nationwide, San Jose has seen an increase that is slightly above average.
Crashes between cars and pedestrians are obviously incredibly dangerous for the people involved who are on foot. Even at low speeds, these collisions can easily result in fatal injuries for pedestrians.
Even worse, many pedestrian accidents are hit-and-runs, leaving the victims and their families to contend with a mountain of medical bills or funeral expenses without ever knowing who was responsible and how to get compensation.
Prevention Is Key
This all makes preventing further pedestrian accidents crucial, and all of us who live in the San Jose area must do our part—drivers and pedestrians alike. Fortunately, there several easy ways to reduce the risk of pedestrian crashes.
While it’s true that you can’t control what other people are doing, enacting the following measures and always being aware of your surroundings can reduce the risk that you’ll find yourself involved in one of these horrible wrecks.
Accident Prevention: What Pedestrians Can Do
The majority of pedestrian accidents occur when people on foot attempt to cross the street outside of designated crosswalks. Drivers aren’t expecting to encounter people traversing the median or dashing through the middle of the street.
Additionally, the stretches of road between intersections are often poorly lit—if at all. Even if you’re wearing lightly colored clothing, it can be incredibly difficult for drivers to see you in an unlit area, until it’s too late.
On that note, it’s incredibly important for pedestrians to wear light colors and reflective clothing at night. Carrying flashlights and portable LED blinkers can also alert drivers to your presence; just make sure to never shine a flashlight at drivers, otherwise you risk blinding or startling them.
When walking alongside a road, stick to the sidewalk wherever possible. If there is no sidewalk, stay on the shoulder on the side of the road that allows you to face oncoming traffic. Doing so will give you more time to react to drivers who might be driving recklessly or intoxicated.
Accident Prevention: What Drivers Can Do
Drivers should be aware of their surroundings at all times. It’s important to remember that just because pedestrians are supposed to cross at intersections, it doesn’t mean they always do. Be especially alert for the presence of drunk or distracted walkers and small children.
Observing the speed limit is another critical factor in preventing pedestrian-vehicle collisions. San Jose and the rest of the Bay Area has a large number of residential areas and school zones, which tend to have lower speed limits. These areas have large numbers of children present, and it’s important to maintain a reasonable speed that will give you time to react should one dart into the street.
Finally, drivers should always avoid drinking or doing drugs when driving and maintain their attention on the road. Intoxication can greatly inhibit reaction time, and cell phone or electronic device use can easily lead to a crash with a pedestrian you never saw—but should have.
San Jose Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Bohn & Fletcher, LLP represents accident victims in San Jose and the rest of the Bay Area. If you’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, we can help.
Contact our office today to arrange a free consultation to explore your options. Just complete the form below or call us directly at 408-556-9780.