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As the seasons turn, pedestrian accident rates increase

The temperate climate in much of California means that our roadways are frequented by vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle traffic year-round. This is particularly true in the San Diego area, where our temps average in the 50s and 60s even in the "dead of winter." That being said, there is something about the spring and summer seasons that brings people back outdoors in record numbers.

As the weather warms, the sidewalks, bike paths, trails and parks around our city will start seeing an increase in visitors. When that happens, inevitably and tragically, the number of accidents between people and vehicles will likewise shoot up.

High pedestrian traffic = higher likelihood of accidents

There are certain areas where accidents are more likely. They are commonly areas of high pedestrian traffic and oftentimes there are issues with visibility. These include:

  • In parking lots, particularly in busy grocery and retail stores, malls and restaurants, where pedestrians walk out in between parked vehicles
  • Around schools
  • Around parks, community centers, playgrounds and other gathering places
  • At intersections, especially where right turns are allowed on red lights and where there are no crosswalk lights
  • In neighborhoods; shrubs and other greenery can prevent vehicles from being able to see people crossing driveways and walking out from in between parked cars until it is too late

Staying safe

Unfortunately, if accidents are caused by distracted, drunk or reckless drivers, there's not much you could do as a pedestrian to prevent that. That being said, however, there are actions and behaviors that can increase your visibility and decrease the chance of you being involved in a pedestrian accident:

  • Using marked crosswalks and sidewalks whenever they are available
  • Walking against the flow of traffic, as close to the side of the road as possible, when there are no sidewalks
  • Following traffic signs and signals
  • Wearing bright colors or a safety vest or hat to make yourself more visible
  • Avoiding or limiting the use of text messaging, email or social media while walking, as it can be distracting and cause you to miss visual cues like a parking car pulling out into traffic or a car speeding through an intersection after the light turns red
  • Looking both ways before crossing the street or stepping into traffic in a parking lot or across a driveway

If you've been involved in a pedestrian accident, you may have legal options. Contact an experienced local personal injury attorney to learn more.

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