As a pedestrian, you should remain alert of what's happening around you at all times. Even if you're in an area where there's not much traffic, an accident can happen in an instant.
The first thing to focus on is the steps you can personally take to avoid a car-pedestrian accident. Here are a handful of things you must do:
- Cross the street at marked crosswalks
- Don't ignore "don't walk" signals at an intersection
- Never dart into traffic
Most importantly, you should do your best to always cross the street at designated crosswalks. These areas are well marked, ensuring that drivers are aware that pedestrians may be crossing.
Unfortunately, even if you follow these safety tips, there's no guarantee that a driver won't make a mistake that results in an accident.
Some of the most common causes of a car-pedestrian accident include:
- Distracted driving: When a driver is distracted, such as by texting or talking on the phone, they may not be watching for pedestrians. This increases the risk of a crash, such as at a crosswalk.
- Drunk driving: A person who is under the influence of alcohol is a person who doesn't have good judgment. They may not see pedestrians or have the reaction time to stop before causing an accident.
- Reckless driving: This includes everything from speeding to illegal lane changes to disregard for traffic signs and signals.
- Disregard for weather conditions: In Oakland, for example, rain can make it difficult to see pedestrians and stop quickly. To avoid trouble, drivers should slow down in inclement weather.
- Neglecting to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks: Drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in designated crosswalks, but some people don't do so for one reason or another.
A car-pedestrian accident has the potential to cause serious (and often fatal) injuries, including but not limited to traumatic brain injury, broken bones, organ damage and deep lacerations.
Calling 911 is the first step you should take after a car-pedestrian accident. If you're unable to do so, ask a witness to call for help.
Paramedics will treat you at the scene and rush you to the hospital for additional care. Only after you receive treatment and understand your prognosis should you contact your insurance company.
There are many ways to seek compensation as the victim in a car-pedestrian accident. Don't leave any stone unturned, as your injuries may change your life forever.