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Rules of the Road for Pedestrians in Sacramento
Most pedestrian accidents naturally take the greatest toll on the pedestrian – an unprotected victim of an accident that involves a vehicle of some kind. But, according to Sacramento injury lawyers at Sette law, the driver may not always be held responsible for the Sacramento pedestrian accident. Our attorneys explain that state laws define some specific rules that apply to pedestrian behavior that results in personal injury.
Our lawyers point out that the principle of Duty of Care – a basic concept of liability law – applies to all the parties in an accident. Sacramento accident attorneys say that California law stipulates that pedestrians have a responsibility to act in safe and sane manners.
For example, a person who darts across an intersection against a red light and is subsequently hit by a car, may bear some responsibility for the pedestrian accident. However, lawyers also point out that if the driver was moving at excessive speed, he or she could also share liability. According to our Sacramento injury attorneys, state laws vary regarding pedestrian accidents with California adopting the “Comparative Negligence” version. Thus, in a Sacramento pedestrian accident, lawyers can expect to recover payment for damages even if the pedestrian in the accident shares a portion of the liability. Of course, Sacramento personal injury attorneys will seek to clarify the appropriate percentage of responsibility for their client.
Although rules for drivers are fairly well understood, pedestrian responsibilities receive less attention, according to Sacramento accident lawyers. But, California vehicle codes deal directly with pedestrian behavior. Our accident attorneys feel that everyone should be familiar with these codes. For example, section 21954 says that pedestrians (who are not in a marked or unmarked crosswalk) must give right-of-way to vehicles that “constitute an immediate hazard.” Our Sacramento pedestrian accident attorneys further explain that this section doesn’t relieve vehicle drivers of their duty of care to safeguard pedestrians. This dual responsibility, according to Sacramento accident lawyers, is fundamental to the state’s Comparative Negligence approach to pedestrian accidents.
California code specifies several other rules designed to minimize pedestrian accidents. Our attorneys say that not many pedestrians know they may not cross a roadway that’s between two adjacent traffic signals unless they are in a crosswalk. Sacramento pedestrian accident lawyers add that another section (21956) - offers an even more obscure direction for pedestrians on business or residential roadways to only walk on the left side of the road - except in instances when it would be unsafe to do so or threaten a pedestrian accident. Attorneys also remind the public that California prohibits pedestrians from standing on a roadway to solicit rides. These, and other sections of California code are designed to prevent pedestrian accidents and clearly demonstrate there is an expectation that pedestrians, along with drivers, are subject to traffic laws.
Pedestrian Accidents plague Sacramento
Sacramento pedestrian accidents are far from uncommon. Checking records from City-Data.com, our accident attorneys note that in 2010, Sacramento reported 5.1 pedestrian accident fatalities (per 100,000) compare to the state average of 2.3. Along with local officials and law enforcement, our Sacramento accident lawyers are concerned about the conditions that contribute to this dubious record. In fact, our accident attorneys say Sacramento has topped California pedestrian deaths for 12 out of the 18 years reported.
Our Sacramento pedestrian accident lawyers also examined data collected by Caiforniawalks.org that reveals a troubling reality – between 2009 and 2011, nearly 22 percent of California traffic fatalities were pedestrians. In addition, this data represents a 17 percent increase over fatal pedestrian accidents in 2008. A significant number of these fatalities occurred on state highways, our accident lawyers point out. Behind this troubling record of deaths due to pedestrian accidents, attorneys are aware of over 1,600 accidents in 2011 that resulted in serious injuries.
A study done by smartgrowthamerica.org was of particular interest to our Sacramento pedestrian accident lawyers. Nationally, between 2003 and 2012, an estimated 676,000 individuals were injured and 47,025 lost their lives in pedestrian accidents. Our lawyers, along with safety officials and organizations that contributed to this study, are seeking solutions. Interestingly, the study suggests that countless pedestrian accidents are preventable. One contributing factor may be dangers inherent in wide streets, like many in suburban Sacramento. Our accident lawyers agree. Most of these broad streets were designed to move vehicle traffic, not in consideration of Sacramento pedestrians. Accidents routinely happen in attempts to cross busy roads or while walking along the verge.
To bring the study findings closer to home, our Sacramento accident lawyers looked closely at the study’s data on Sacramento-Arden Arcade and Roseville. Out of 51 large metro areas studied, Sacramento ranked the 23rd most dangerous. In the 10 years studied, 2051 deaths were due to Sacramento pedestrian accidents. Our attorneys support the development of roadways and communities that will make these local statistics an artifact of the past. But, until more walkable neighborhoods and mitigations on existing dangerous streets become a reality, Sacramento pedestrian accidents will continue to plague our community.
Our Sacramento accident attorneys suggest that local pedestrians become “street smart” to avoid too-often-fatal pedestrian accidents. Our lawyers site simple precautions such as always wearing light colored clothing when walking or running, being hyper-aware of your surroundings and even making the assumption that too often, drivers just don’t see you is a start to protecting yourself from a Sacramento pedestrian accident. Attorneys at Sette law have heard far too many painful stories from victims. Safeguard yourself and your family from a Sacramento pedestrian accident by becoming an educated walker or runner. We also urge city and county planners to consider pedestrian safety in all new developments. Our Sacramento accident lawyers are all too familiar with the conditions that contribute to pedestrian accidents. Attorneys say that data is available to help build communities that safeguard pedestrians, rather than continuing to construct roadways that threaten to be the site of serious Sacramento pedestrian accidents. Lawyers at Sette Law look for sane solutions that build a better future for all of us who walk, run, bike and drive our community.