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Avoid Becoming the Pedestrian Victim of a Careless Driver

When it comes to making sure a pedestrian is safe from harm, the impetus is rightly on the motor vehicle driver. Unfortunately, some motorists don’t take that duty seriously, and instead make poor decisions that injure or kill innocent people. As a pedestrian, you must look for signs that a car or truck driver is about to put you at risk and take precautions to avoid being struck.

Signs that a driver might hit pedestrians

Before you cross the street—even if a signal indicates it’s safe to enter a crosswalk—survey the cars coming toward you. If you notice any of the following, wait:

  • Driver is maintaining speed or accelerating as they approach the crosswalk with no indication of braking
  • Driver appears to be looking at something in their vehicle or in a direction other than the crosswalk
  • Driver behind other stopped vehicles is still moving, and perhaps veering to one side to pass them. This is especially a concern when traffic is being controlled by a school crossing guard or police officer instead of traffic signals
  • Poor weather (e.g., sheeting rain) —assume it is difficult for drivers to see you
  • Vehicle coming toward the crosswalk or driving near you as you walk along the road is weaving across lane lines or otherwise moving erratically. This could indicate the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Steps to protect yourself from dangerous drivers

As a pedestrian, you need to make sound decisions to avoid being injured while crossing roads or walking near traffic. These include the following:

  • Only cross the street at designated crosswalks
  • Make sure all vehicles have come to a complete stop before entering the crosswalk. Don’t assume drivers will yield right-of-way to pedestrians as required by California law
  • Do not hop off the curb or sidewalk without making sure the way is completely clear first. You are legally required to stay out of the path of a car that is so close it’s unlikely the driver could avoid hitting you, particularly if you are not in a crosswalk
  • When crossing a roadway, don’t linger while looking at your phone or talking to someone you ran into. You are required not to stop or delay traffic unnecessarily, whether you are in a designated crosswalk or not
  • If you are out walking at night make sure you are as visible to drivers as possible by using a flashlight, adding reflective tape on your clothing and shoes, or wearing bright clothes
  • If you must walk in the street, stay as far over in the shoulder as possible from traffic. California law recommends you walk facing traffic for greater visibility. Never walk along a highway or freeway unless it is absolutely unavoidable
  • Just as drivers should not be distracted from driving, you should avoid being distracted while walking. If you are walking in or near the street, skip the earbuds so you don’t miss warning sounds of a vehicle speeding your way. And don’t take a stroll while so intoxicated you can’t walk straight or make good decisions for maintaining your safety

Los Angeles pedestrian and auto accident lawyer

Motorists are required to put the safety of pedestrians first. When they fail in that duty, contact Los Angeles car crash attorney Scott J. Corwin at 800-946-9440 to seek just compensation from the driver responsible.