Safe practices for drivers and pedestrians

Both pedestrians and drivers can respect each other and the rules of the road in order to minimize pedestrian auto accidents.

Both drivers and pedestrians in California must take care when heading out into areas with traffic. When a pedestrian is struck by a driver, the consequences can be dire. A walking person is completely exposed to the full force of the impact of an automobile accident. Whether someone is walking or driving, there are some specific things that can be done to prevent an accidental injury from occurring.

Walk safely

The first and foremost thing that pedestrians should be aware of is the fact that rules are in place for their safety. Crossing crosswalks when the walking signal is lit is the best way to traverse the road. If there are no painted lines anywhere nearby, people should at least be sure the area they will be walking across is well-lit and free of traffic.

People should not walk around with headphones in, as this cuts off their important sense of hearing, decreasing awareness of their surroundings. Pedestrians should make sure to always make eye contact with a motorist before crossing a driving path, even if the car is stopped at a stop sign. It is dangerous to assume cars will automatically provide right-of-way. Also, if pedestrians wear clearly visible clothing, such as bright clothes during the day and reflective apparel at night, it helps drivers to see them.

Follow the rules of the road

Drivers need to realize that they are operating a machine that could take someone's life in an instant. The following list contains some things that drivers should always do:

· Those who have children with them, disabled people and the elderly all may take longer to cross the street than other pedestrians, and they should be allowed the time to do so.

· One way that pedestrians indicate they are ready to cross is by making eye contact with drivers, a sign that drivers should wait and allow them to go.

· It is a danger to pedestrians for cars to stop in crosswalks, especially if blind pedestrians are attempting to cross, since they rely on sound to determine their surroundings.

· Drivers should yield to pedestrians who are on sidewalks, and should only cross over them when exiting or entering an alley or driveway.

An important thing for drivers to keep in mind is that at any intersection, even one where there is not a painted crosswalk, they should always yield to pedestrians.

Those who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in California involving a pedestrian may be entitled to financial compensation in order to help pay for the costs of pain and suffering, as well as for medical costs. They may find it helpful to consult a local lawyer who practices personal injury law.