September is Pedestrian Safety Month in California, and law enforcement agencies are working hard to educate both the walking and driving public on what they can do to make the world a little bit safer for everyone.
Throughout the nation, pedestrian deaths have been steadily rising for the last decade, and countless others have suffered serious injuries in accidents with motor vehicles. In California, almost 25% of roadway deaths involve pedestrians. The most recent report from the Governors Highway Association indicates that 2019 was the worst year for pedestrian deaths in the last three decades.
While there’s no definitive answer for the increase in deaths, there are a few major suspects. Speeding, drivers who run red lights, the lack of accessible sidewalks and crosswalks in high-traffic areas, distracted driving and the prevalence of larger vehicles on the road may all be combining to cause more accidents.
With that in mind, here are the top reminders for drivers:
- Focus on the task at hand. It’s time to lock the screen on your cell phone, put down your coffee, stop eating in the car, ignore your in-dash touch screens and pay attention to the road and everything around you.
- Put your headlights on and slow down when it’s dark or dim outside. Especially as we head into the winter months when there are fewer daylight hours, drivers need to be careful around pedestrians.
- Look when you approach a crosswalk. If you’re turning, stop and make sure that nobody is about to step off a curb. Don’t run any red lights and make sure that you obey all other traffic signals.
Pedestrians are usually conscious of the risks they’re taking near roads, and smart pedestrians know to make eye contact, wear bright or reflective clothing and stay alert. Just the same, it can be impossible to avoid accidents with drivers who are not paying enough attention. If you are hurt in a pedestrian accident or a loved one is killed, find out more about what you will need to do to hold a negligent driver accountable.