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,” Reno officials said.

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.

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.

Use sidewalks

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 1-858-551-2090 for a free legal consultation of your case. Our firm will work hard to get you the maximum compensation you deserve. Call us today.