Costa Mesa Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrian accidents have been increasing in the United States over the last several years. Between 2009 and 2013, fatalities saw an increase of almost 15%. All ages of people can be injured in a pedestrian accident, with those who are older accounting for the largest percentage of pedestrian fatalities.
Pedestrian Accidents in Irvine, Mission Viejo & Costa Mesa
The number of pedestrian accidents that lead to injury or death is especially high in urban areas, given that both the volume and activity of traffic is greater. There has been an increase of 14% of pedestrian deaths between 1975 and 2013 in urban areas, and Orange County is no exception.
In 2013, four states made up 43% of all pedestrian deaths: Texas, Florida, New York, and California. Due to its large population and high number of urban areas, California had 701 pedestrian fatalities in 2013.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians should always remain aware of their surroundings, but sometimes an accident can occur by no fault of their own.
Most pedestrian accidents are caused by negligence on the part of an automobile or motorcycle driver. Drivers have a responsibility to be aware of what is going on around them, especially in areas with a high volume of pedestrians. Negligence can be caused by a number of factors that lead to inattentiveness. These include talking or texting on a cell phone, applying makeup, eating, or reaching down to grab an item on the floor of a car.
In unfamiliar areas, drivers may be confused or constantly looking at a GPS for directions. This can cause a driver to be oblivious to the surrounding activity. Inclement weather can cause drivers to lose visibility and therefore awareness. Rain, sleet, or snow can build up on windshields or cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
Aggressive driving can also be a cause for negligence, especially in urban areas. If displaying fits of road rage or in a hurry to get somewhere, a driver may violate traffic signals or go over the speed limit. Drivers may turn left in a protected crosswalk, turn right on a red without looking, or lose control of a car going too fast.
Driving or walking while intoxicated is another common cause of pedestrian-related crashes. 49% of the pedestrian traffic crashes in 2013 had alcohol involved. Alcohol can cause a driver to be negligent or a pedestrian to be careless and unaware of his or her surroundings.
Preventing Injuries and Death
The best way for pedestrians to avoid injuries or death from accidents is to remain aware. Constantly looking around and being mindful can save a life. Here are several other tips to help you remain safe as a pedestrian:
- When walking at night, wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight or headlamp.
- Cross the street at a designated crosswalk or intersection if possible.
- Look both ways before crossing, even if at a crosswalk.
- Walk on the sidewalk or shoulder facing traffic.
While pedestrians may take the right steps to prevent accident-related injury, a casualty may still occur due to driver negligence. An accident can be traumatizing for all people involved. Physical pain, such as from brain and spinal cord injuries, can occur, and mental trauma can also be brought about by the accident. In some cases, there is a wrongful death.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, the best course of action is to contact an experienced Irvine injury law firm that can effectively assess your case. At the Law Office of Mann & Elias, we will work with you through this difficult time and help you settle your pedestrian injury claim.