San Jose Experiences a Spike in Fatal Pedestrian Accidents
Santa Clara County Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
After a three-year rise in the number of pedestrian deaths, a recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association revealed that deaths were down by 9 percent in the first six months of 2013 across the nation. Unfortunately, while California saw a big drop in deaths overall, areas of Santa Clara County are experiencing a sharp increase.
San Jose saw the highest numbers of pedestrian accident deaths in two decades last year, per a news report in the San Jose Mercury News. Over two-thirds of all traffic fatalities in the city - 26 out of 39 -were pedestrian and bicycle rider deaths from motor vehicle related accidents.
While some California cities are making efforts to reduce pedestrian and bicycle accidents, less than one percent of state transportation funds are spent to make roads safer for walkers, runners and bikers. According the Mercury News, officials in San Jose currently have a number of infrastructure projects in the works to make the roads safer for pedestrians. Additionally, young children and older adults are receiving education regarding pedestrian safety as those two groups are most often involved in such accidents. Only time will tell if those efforts will help.
Whether due to financial savings or in an effort to help the environment, more people are walking and biking to and from school, work and play. Sharing roads with motorized vehicles is inherently dangerous; weather, road conditions and the unpredictability of drivers and walkers create deadly opportunities. In addition, when a motorized vehicle - no matter what its size - hits someone, that person is likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries. Common reasons for the danger include the following:
- Insufficient traffic safety enforcement: When law enforcement officers fail to crack down on speeders, impaired drivers and those who roll through stop signs without completely stopping, others on the road are in danger.
- Inadequate lighting at intersections: Even when crossing at designated crosswalks, if cars cannot see walkers or joggers, they will not stop.
- Distractions: Use of cellphones and other handheld technologies distract drivers and walkers alike. A negligent driver who is checking his or her text messages can easily fail to see a child stepping out onto the road.
Pedestrians and bicycle riders need to do what they can to make themselves more visible. Wearing light-colored clothing, carrying a flashlight at night and using only designated crosswalks can help but those safety measures do not always prevent collisions with cars.
Help for Accident Victims
If you or a loved one suffers an injury in an accident, seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer. An attorney knowledgeable about pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents can help you and your family obtain compensation for your losses.