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Pedestrian deaths continue to rise

San Francisco is one of the most walkable cities in the U.S. If you live or work in the area, you may enjoy taking a stroll on your lunch hour or getting your exercise with a brisk jog. Perhaps you are not averse to walking to work to do your part for the environment. However, being a pedestrian is becoming more dangerous, even in a pedestrian-friendly city like ours.

Walking is one of the most natural activities you can do, so you may take for granted that you are safe when you walk near traffic. There are steps you can take to remain safe, such as removing your ear buds and walking facing traffic. However, assuming drivers are looking out for you may be your biggest mistake.

Thousands of families suffer

The latest data on pedestrian accidents is not pretty. The Governor's Highway Safety Association released its report estimating the number of pedestrian fatalities from 2018, and the news is disturbing. More than 6,000 people died from injuries after being struck by a motor vehicle. This is an increase of about 35 percent over the past 10 years. What confounds analysts and safety advocates is that the number of fatalities in all other kinds of traffic accidents continues to decline. California lost 432 pedestrians in accidents last year.

Whether you walk many miles a day or cross the street to get to your job, you may be at risk of a car striking you. Researchers speculate that some of the reasons why you may be in danger as a pedestrian include the following:

  • You cross in the middle of the street instead of at an intersection.
  • More drivers are distracted or drowsy behind the wheel.
  • Drivers who speed are unable to stop in time.
  • More consumers are buying SUVs and larger vehicles, which increase the likelihood that you will suffer more serious or fatal injuries.
  • Drivers continue to consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
  • You walk at night when it is more difficult for drivers to see you.

In fact, studies show that about 90 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents occur after dark. Even if you take proper precautions, such as wearing bright clothing and carrying a light, you may still be in danger of an accident. If you suffer injuries or lose a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you certainly want to seek answers to your many questions. A legal professional can guide you in the appropriate steps to take to claim compensation for your losses.

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