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Pedestrian accidents are a major issue on the roads in California. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, pedestrian accidents were a factor in over 14,000 crashes in California in 2020 alone (https://www.ots.ca.gov/Media_and_Research/Statistics/Pedestrian.asp). These accidents can have serious consequences, including fatalities, injuries, and property damage. In this article, we will explore the causes of pedestrian accidents, the consequences of pedestrian accidents, and the laws in place to prevent these types of accidents.
There are many factors that can contribute to pedestrian accidents. Some of the most common causes include distracted driving, failing to yield to pedestrians, speeding, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Pedestrians also bear some responsibility for their own safety, and can increase their risk of being involved in an accident by not paying attention to their surroundings, crossing the street outside of designated crosswalks, or wearing dark clothing at night.
Pedestrian accidents can have serious consequences for those involved. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2020, over 6,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States (https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/pedestrian-safety). In addition to fatalities, pedestrian accidents can also result in serious injuries and property damage. These types of accidents can have a significant impact on the physical, emotional, and financial well-being of those involved.
To prevent pedestrian accidents, the state of California has implemented several laws. According to the California Vehicle Code, drivers are required to yield to pedestrians when they are crossing the street within a marked or unmarked crosswalk (https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=VEH§ionNum=21950). Additionally, California has a “vulnerable road user” law that imposes stricter penalties on drivers who violate traffic laws and cause accidents involving pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vulnerable road users (https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=VEH§ionNum=21960). These laws are in place to help protect pedestrians and promote safer roadways for all users.
California has several vehicle code sections regarding and protecting pedestrians in accidents. This includes: