Statistics gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations reveal that in 2008, 4,378 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States. During the same time period, another 69,000 pedestrians were injured in accidents across the country. When these numbers are broken down, they reveals that on average, 1 pedestrian is killed in traffic accidents every 2 hours and 1 pedestrian is injured every 8 minutes.
What are the major causes of these accidents? What rights do pedestrians have when they are injured?
Pedestrian Accidents at Marked and Unmarked Crosswalks
Several Vehicle Code sections have been enacted to protect pedestrian rights. One of those, California Vehicle Code Section 21950, was enacted to protect pedestrians in crosswalks.
As set forth under this section, drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. The right is given to all pedestrians within a “marked crosswalk” and within an “unmarked crosswalk”. So, under the law, a pedestrian using an “unmarked crosswalk” at an intersection is given the same rights as a pedestrian using a “marked crosswalk.”
Pedestrians Struck on Sidewalks
Under California Vehicle Code Section 21952, pedestrians on sidewalks generally have the right-of-way over motorists. So, when a motorist gets too eager and tries to enter or exit a shopping center and in the process strikes a pedestrian, the pedestrian is the one with the right-of-way.
Vehicles Stopped at Crosswalks
Sometimes, a motorist will fail to see a pedestrian in the crosswalk because there is another car stopped in front of the crosswalk that blocks the motorist’s view of the crosswalk. Under California Vehicle Code Section 21951, when a vehicle is stopped at a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross, any motorist approaching the crosswalk must not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle. So, drivers approaching an intersection where another car is stopped, should slow down and be aware of possible pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Attorney Mason Rashtian is the managing partner of The Mason Law Firm, dedicated to protecting personal injury victims. If you have been injured because of someone else acted negligently or carelessly, please feel free to contact us for an honest assessment of your case. There is never a fee unless there is recovery in the case. You can contact us at (800) 577-0149, (661) 362-0805 or (818) 700-8422. You can also visit our website at: