Cars run into each other all the time in Los Angeles, but perhaps the most dangerous type of auto accident involves pedestrians. People who get hit by a car while crossing the street, walking on the shoulder or even standing on the sidewalk are at great risk of getting seriously hurt.
The problem is so great that it has drawn the attention of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On its website, the CDC reports that in 2012 alone, 76,000 pedestrians were hurt in incidents with motor vehicles, and 4,743 were killed. Anytime they venture onto the streets, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in an accident than drivers or passengers.
Sadly, children and senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to pedestrian accidents. Of all the children aged 5-15 who died in traffic accidents in 2012, more than 20 percent were pedestrians. And 20 percent of pedestrian fatalities that year were 65 or older.
In many cases, the victims are obeying traffic laws, such as using crosswalks and waiting for a green light, and otherwise acting reasonably. It is the driver who is to blame. Too often, drivers are not keeping sufficient lookout for people crossing the street and plow into the crosswalk. Or they are drunk and unable to drive with reasonable safety.
Thus, it may be necessary for pedestrians to take extra precautions to protect themselves. The CDC recommends that people walking outside at night wear retro-reflective clothing and carry a flashlight, to make themselves extra-visible. Pedestrians should use crosswalks or intersections when possible, and stick to sidewalks. When there is no sidewalk, use the shoulder facing traffic.
A pedestrian who gets hurt in an accident should speak to a personal injury attorney if their related costs are extensive.