Pedestrian accidents in San Francisco are approaching epidemic levels. The Cartwright Law Firm has seen an increase in cases coming into the firm, and according to the San Francisco Chronicle, 2013 saw 21 people killed by autos while walking in The City. Since January 1st, San Francisco has seen 4 deaths and many more injuries to pedestrians, suggesting that 2014 may be an even more deadly year.
Many pedestrian accidents are completely preventable. All it takes is for everyone – pedestrians, drivers, bicyclists – to pay more attention to their surroundings, and keep in mind that others have as much right to use the streets and crosswalks as you do. Walking, biking, or driving while distracted can all have deadly consequences. You may enjoy talking on your phone or listening to your music, but be aware that nobody else is watching out for you. You may feel they should, but you need to act as though they are not, and look before crossing, stop at all red, even yellow lights, and remember that you may have the right of way, but you need to pay attention to all other drivers, pedestrians, and bikes if you want to be safe.
Cities also need to take more seriously how crosswalks are lit, striped, and otherwise made visible to motorists. Mounting public awareness campaigns can pay off in big ways by bringing the public’s attention to focus on these issues. And better law enforcement is an absolute necessity. The police should be required to always write an accident report even where there are no clear injuries, if only to increase the priority of traffic enforcement. Citizens need to pressure their local governments on all of these solutions, to make sure these terrible statistics can be brought down as close to zero as possible.
If you or your loved one is the victim of a pedestrian/auto collision, we at The Cartwright Law Firm are here to help you obtain top-level representation, to get full compensation for your injuries, and to continue to press for better public awareness of the importance of pedestrian safety.