Whenever we step foot out the front door, we are exposed to certain risks. When we get into our cars and drive, to some degree we are at risk for getting into a car accident as we make our way onto the road. And while the risk may be very small for most people, it can increase with bad driving habits like speeding, cell phone use, or other forms distracted driving. And sadly, as you increase your risk for getting into a car accident, you also increase the risk of other drivers around you.
As a pedestrian, your risk is no different than for people in vehicles. That’s why it’s never been so important to not only drive defensively but also walk defensively.
The advice follows on the heels of an accident in Rancho Penasquitos Monday involving a pedestrian and motorcyclist. The biker, who was allegedly speeding, struck a 29-year-old man who was walking his dog. Both the motorcyclist and pedestrian were tragically killed as a result of the accident.
According to reports at the San Diego Union Tribune, the pedestrian was using a designated crosswalk near the intersection of Carmel Mountain Road and Sundance Avenue. Sadly, both men were thrown nearly 300 feet by the impact of the motorcycle accident. The bike slid across the pavement by an additional 200 feet, authorities said.
“His two favorite things in the world were playing guitar and his dog,” said the pedestrian’s former girlfriend.
The motorcycle was estimated to have been traveling nearly 80 mph in a mainly residential area. As for the cause of accident, only speeding has been identified in reports. It’s unknown whether other factors played a part in the motorcycle accident.
Reducing your risk for accident
While there is no way to entirely prevent an accident, here’s what you can do to help reduce your risk.
For drivers. Driving poses a risk for accident on its own. Add in other factors like speeding, and your chances for getting into an accident skyrocket. Your life and the lives of others depend on your ability to drive under control and at the legal speed limit. And when adverse road conditions present themselves, it’s up to you to make adjustments to stay safe. The bottom line: it’s never safe to speed!
For pedestrians. It goes without saying to always use a designated crosswalk at all times. But even then, accidents can happen. Take your safety a step further by considering the time of day you walk. Dawn and dusk can be riskier times of day due to decreased visibility. Consider walking during the day, and wear a bright jacket or reflective gear that can help bring attention to your presence.
About the Law Offices of Michael Pines
Michael Pines is an avid spokesperson for safety. Having worked with injured people for over 20 years, he is dedicated to preventing injury one blog at a time. If you have been injured in an accident, call 1-800-655-6585 for a FREE consultation. You have legal rights including financial compensation for your injuries. There are no out-of-pocket costs, so call today.
Pedestrian safety is such an important part of being mobile in San Diego. With the beach, shops, and the local attractions, our city boasts a lot of foot traffic in coastal neighborhoods and throughout inland areas, too. According to WalkScore.com, San Diego is the 18th most walkable city in the nation.
As passersby enjoy the attractions, though, it’s never been more important to practice roadway safety to avoid a pedestrian accident. While it is also the driver’s responsibility to watch for pedestrians, it often takes the diligence of the pedestrian to stay safe in traffic and beyond.
“It was one of his biggest fears getting hit by a car,” said Cody Panzera, a friend of Malacara’s since middle school. “It’s insane to me that that’s how it happened.”
The tragic comments follow a pedestrian accident involving a deputy in pursuit of a suspected drunk driver, NBC San Diego is reporting.
According to reports, police Deputy Frank Stalzer sped up to catch up to a suspected DUI driver when he struck Jose Malacara, a worker at one of the nearby restaurants on West San Marcos Boulevard where the collision occurred.
Malacara was just getting off work when the pedestrian accident occurred.
Reports indicate that police lights or sirens were not yet activated in the initial pursuit of the suspected drunk driver. Jan Caldwell, spokesperson for the San Diego Sheriff’s Department explained the deputy was devastated to have taken a life while trying to catch a DUI driver.
“Very hard for him. It goes against everything they’ve trained to do,” Caldwell said.
Pedestrians urged to take precaution
No one ever knows when an accident will happen. If we had that kind of foresight, many accidents would never occur. However, despite the fact that we cannot predict an accident, we can take precautions to help reduce their risk. Here are 3 things you can do today to be safe as a pedestrian in San Diego.
- 1. Look left, right, then left again – and then cross the street
Take your time in crossing the street. There’s no rush in getting across, especially if your life can depend on it. Look to the left, right, then left again before proceeding into the street. If traffic seems sporadic, then repeat the process until the coast is clear.
- 2. Use sidewalks
Walking in the street or in a bike lane is dangerous. Use the sidewalks instead, where walking is designated and separates you well away from traffic.
- 3. Use a crosswalk
Do not walk into the middle of the street or assume it is safe to cross a “less busy” street without using a crosswalk. Always use designated crosswalks when illuminated to cross the street. And even then, be sure to look 3 times in both directions (left, right, left) before crossing.
If you have been injured as a pedestrian
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents can happen even for the most precautious individuals. And many times, the pedestrian is not at fault. If you have been injured as a pedestrian, and suspect the driver may be at fault for the accident, do not hesitate to call our firm at 1-800-655-6585 for a free consultation. You have legal rights, and we can help you get the maximum financial compensation for your injuries.
San Diego, though it isn’t classified as walking city, still has its fair share of pedestrians throughout the area due in part to its miles of beaches and coastal shopping which draw thousands of people everyday. Fortunately, San Diego does not rank as the highest city for pedestrian accidents – that spot is reserved for Atlanta, with 10.97 pedestrian fatalities for every 100,000 people in 2009. On its heels is Detroit with 10.31 fatalities, followed by Los Angeles at 7.64 fatalities for every 100,000 people according to Good Magazine. But in an alarming twist, one city has quickly risen as one of the worst cities to be a pedestrian: Reno.
In a special report at CBS 2News, authorities have been worried that the rising rate of pedestrian accidents in Reno is on a continual rise.
“Of the 17 fatalities our department investigated in 2011, 11 involved pedestrians…close to one a month,” Sgt. Joe Robinson of the Reno Police Department told the news station.
Those statistics rival Atlanta, thereby placing Reno as one of the worst cities to walk as a pedestrian – at least in 2011. A part of the problem is the misuse of crosswalks, or simply not using them at all.
“I do jaywalk, as long as I am not disturbing the flow of traffic,” said one pedestrian in the area. “I think it’s easier to do it here. And plus, I have a bad back, and it’s a long way to the corner.”
What many pedestrians don’t realize, however, is that crosswalks are easily accessible and not far at all, with most busy corners safely equipped with pedestrian access. But unfortunately, this year hasn’t improved over last year’s staggering pedestrian fatality statistics. In 2012, 3 out of 4 fatality car accidents have been pedestrian fatalities in the Reno area.
Traffic authorities in Reno have launched a new “Zero Fatalities” traffic safety campaign to create awareness around the problem. “[The campaign] is meant for a person to take a glance at it, and let the sign speak for itself,” said Deputy J. Armando Avina of the Washoe County Sheriffs.
San Diego: let’s continue to keep our pedestrians safe
Fortunately, unlike Reno, San Diego is a safer place for pedestrians. But no city, including ours, is completely free of risk. For instance, last month, we reported on a car accident involving a pedestrian who was killed in Del Sur. Unfortunately, these types of accidents can happen anywhere, in any city. Consider the following pedestrian tips to stay safe:
Never assume jaywalking is safe
It goes without saying, but all pedestrians must use a crosswalk and heed to posted traffic safety laws. Do not assume it is safe to cross the street without using a crosswalk as many pedestrian fatalities have happened when people assume drivers can see them. Don’t assume anything: use the crosswalk at all times.
When using crosswalks, make eye contact
Often, pedestrians cite jaywalking as the safer alternative since many drivers fail to make complete stops at crosswalks and often roll into red lights when turning. But don’t assume jaywalking is the safer alternative to using a crosswalk. More accidents occur when pedestrians jaywalk than when using a crosswalk. However, you can increase the level of safety when crossing a crosswalk by making eye contact with the driver if you can. Doing so can ensure s/he sees you as you are approaching the crosswalk.
Sidewalks are designed to keep pedestrians away from oncoming traffic, and so it is the generally safer way to travel if you are walking. Do not use the roadways or the bike lane. When possible, always use the sidewalk as a pedestrian and walk on the closest interior part of the structure.
Pedestrian injury accident in San Diego
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, do not hesitate to call Michael Pines, personal injury lawyer in San Diego, at 1-800-655-6585 for a free legal consultation of your case. Our firm will work hard to get you the maximum compensation you deserve. Call us today.
There’s no doubt that roads can be a dangerous place for drivers and pedestrians alike. While not every Poway car accident can be avoided entirely, the newest measures at the city can help ensure the risk – at the very minimum – is reduced. After what the Patch has called a “contentious issue,” the city of Poway has finally installed all-way stop signs at its busy Valle Verde Road – the same road that tragically killed a resident and injuring many more within the last year.
The city approved the signage in a victorious City Council meeting Tuesday by a 5-0 unanimous vote. It’s taken the city of Poway three years to make the intersection safer even after residents have known for years the intersection was far too busy to be considered safe without signage.
Deputy Mayor Jim Cunningham explains that last year’s death of a Poway woman at the same intersection spurred the signage to take center stage. “What her tragic death did was revitalized the debate,” he added: “Three of us on the council were not on the council in 2008.”
Drivers can expect to see a slight delay at the intersections of Valle Verde Road and Solera/Vinter Way. However, the delay is relatively minor and will primarily take effect during the busy morning hours of 8 to 9 a.m.
Tuesday’s City Council meeting united many families affected by the dangerous intersection. A mother of an 11-year-old Poway child explained her son – now 4 years older – is still afraid to cross the streets after he was injured as a pedestrian in 2008. Another Poway teen attended the City Council meeting and added: “My friends and I are unable to go to the park or the pool because Valle Verde is too unsafe to cross.” Many other children and teens attended the City Council meeting with similar stories.
“We’re not the experts, they are,” explained Greg Hulan, a Poway engineer. ”That’s very logical. Poway is known for its schools. Let’s make it safe for our kids to get to school.”
While most people were in favor of the signs, there were a few naysayers who did not vote for the measure due in part for its cost on the city. While not exorbitant, the safety measures will cost Poway an estimated $2,800 – well worth it for a potentially saved life.
Crew will begin installing the new signage Wednesday.
Pedestrian safety: the next step
It’s essential for San Diego County to take note and listen to its residents – after all, it makes sense that residents are the “experts” on the lay of the land including needed safety measures. But often, there’s red tape that can still delay a very necessary change. Here’s what you can do to keep you and your children safe as San Diego County pedestrians.
All children need established, firm guidelines for street travel including playing in the streets. If you know of a dangerous intersection in your neighborhood, make sure your child understands the area is off-limits unless you are there to escort across the street. For older teens, make sure they understand which areas of the city are most dangerous for foot travel and to stay alert and cautious when perusing those streets.
If there is a known problem with your street or any signage throughout your city, call to report it. If you live in the city of San Diego, you can report traffic signal problems or a need for traffic lights by calling (619) 527-7500. If you live in another city, you may have to contact their City Hall to find out where to report a problem.
About the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC
If you’ve been involved in a Poway car accident, call the Law Offices of Michael Pines at 1-800-655-6585 or use our online form to submit the details of your case. We’ll answer all of your legal questions free of charge. Every personal injury attorney at our firm will fight hard to make sure you receive maximum compensation for your injury. Call now.
Officials reported that a pedestrian was struck in a hit-and-run car accident Tuesday in a tragic course of events that claimed the young woman’s life. In wake of the tragedy, San Diegans are urged to stay aware of pedestrian laws and safety regulations in an effort to avoid needless accident such as these.
The woman, Candice Marie Nelson, 25, a Pauma Valley resident and a mother of 3, was struck early Monday morning – nearly 4 a.m. – after officials reported that she had walked to an unknown destination alongside the north shoulder of Route 76. Reports do not indicate the reason behind the woman’s early morning walk along the busy route, nor do reports indicate the woman had been driving along the route prior to the accident.
Tragically, the woman did not survive the pedestrian accident.
The California Highway Patrol was immediately dispatched to the scene, where an investigation of the accident revealed the woman was struck by a 2002 Ford Taurus which swerved in an effort to avoid colliding with the woman, but was unable to avoid the crash. The driver fled the scene of the accident, but was shortly nabbed after the car was seen fleeing toward Valley Center Road.
Moments later, Rickey Burns, 69, “was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run, and the passengers were released,” according to CHP Officer Parent.
Get to know your California pedestrian laws
Knowing the laws that surround pedestrian safety can equip you with the know-how on staying safe. Often, simply being aware of the legal “dos and don’ts” of pedestrian traffic laws can make all the difference in preventing car accidents involving pedestrian bystanders. There are over twenty laws that govern pedestrian behavior in the state of California, and while every law is important to your safety and the safety of others, consider the following tips so you can stay on the safe side of the road – literally. And, be sure to check out the entire list of pedestrian rules and regulations at http://dmv.ca.gov.
Do not walk on freeways or expressways
California law VC Section 21960 dictates the restriction against using a freeway or expressway as a pedestrian access point. According to the law, walking on a freeway or expressway is illegal and deemed unsafe. In the accident case noted above, the woman was reported to be have walked on a state highway, not a freeway or expressway; and while the behavior is not technically illegal according to written California law, we urge San Diegans to opt against use of the highway as a means to get your destination as a pedestrian. Take the longer route on backstreets if you have to; it just may save your life.
Do not walk in a bicycle lane
All too often, pedestrians use the bike lane in order to get to their destination. In certain circumstances, you may have no other choice; but most of the time, there are available sidewalks that are well-suited for foot travel as opposed to risky bicycle lanes. A fast-moving bicycle can cause personal injury if it collides into you within the confines of a bicycle lane; as a precaution against potential accidents, don’t use the bike lanes as a pedestrian and stick with sidewalks or alternate routes for the safest bet.
Walk against the grain of traffic
California law dictates that pedestrians must walk on sidewalks, against the grain of traffic. In other words, as a pedestrian, walk in the direction of oncoming traffic. Of course, it goes without saying that you should always walk on the sidewalk, use controlled crosswalks when possible, and avoid walking into the street whenever possible.
For complete information on all California pedestrian laws, go to the California Department of Motor Vehicles for a list of rules and regulations.
If you have been injured in a San Diego pedestrian accident, call the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC at 1-800-655-6585 or use our online form to submit your case securely and confidentially. A personal injury lawyer will review your case free of charge, with no out-of-pocket costs required on your behalf.