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San Jose personal injury attorneyWalking instead of using a car for transportation has many environmental and health benefits. Unfortunately, recent studies show that simply walking down the street is now more dangerous than ever. According to a report published earlier this year from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian deaths from car accidents are higher than ever. In 2008, a little over 4,000 pedestrians lost their lives in the United States. In 2017, that number had risen to just under 6,000 deaths. If you or someone you love was struck by a vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.

Night Continues to Be the Most Dangerous Time for Pedestrians

The overall number of pedestrians who were killed in traffic incidents has risen dramatically in recent years. In fact, pedestrian fatalities for 2018 are projected to be the worst in nearly 30 years. Interestingly, daytime pedestrian fatalities have remained relatively constant while nighttime incidents have increased dramatically. During the period from 2008-2017, approximately 90 percent of pedestrian deaths happened at high. Experts suggest wearing reflective clothing when walking at night whenever possible.

Intoxicated Drivers are a Major Risk to Pedestrians

Not surprisingly, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol drastically increases the chances of being involved in a car accident. Nearly half of all pedestrian fatalities in 2017 involved a driver under the influence of one or more substances. Federal regulators are working to figure out other reasons for the extreme rise in pedestrian fatalities. Some believe that the rise in deaths could be related to the increasing number of larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs on the road. Distracted driving is also a major concern for both motorists and pedestrians. Texting and driving is a disturbing trend which is especially hazardous.

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While the family of a 22-year-old California man are grieving their loss this month, investigators with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department are looking into the events that led up to the young adult's death. In the end, the driver responsible for hitting the 22-year-old bicyclist may be considered negligent, which begs the question: could a wrongful death claim soon follow?

Some of our readers here in Santa Clara may not have heard about the fatal bicycle accident that happened this month in San Marcos. According to police, the 47-year-old driver of a cement truck had briefly stopped at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Las Posas Road before making a right turn. Unfortunately though, at this very moment, the 22-year-old was trying to cross the street on his bicycle. The collision with the large commercial vehicle caused fatal injuries from which the bicyclist died.

Although news reports indicate that the bicyclist may not have had the right-of-way at the intersection, it's possible to argue that neither did the truck driver who, according to reports, had a red light at the time of the collision. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers are supposed to yield right-of-way to pedestrians crossing roadways, even if they are not in a marked crosswalk. Provided the pedestrian also heeds caution to the traffic around them and does not suddenly move into traffic, a driver must exercise caution and slow their vehicle.

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Schools are often considered to be places of growth, exploration and opportunity for developing young minds. However, they are, on occasion, also the scene of tragedy-including pedestrian accidents.

A 7-year-old girl was killed, and her 5-year-old sister and aunt injured, when an SUV ploughed through the street where they were crossing in front of Parkview Elementary School. The accident happened at about 3:30 p.m.; relatives indicated that they believed the trio was on their way home from school at the time of the accident. Currently, authorities are investigating the accident, but do not think that drugs or alcohol was involved. The driver of the SUV, an adult male, is cooperating with authorities.

Drivers are always required to exercise reasonable care when on the road, but this duty of care is heightened when they are around or near areas where they know or should know that children are likely to be present. These areas include schools, parks and playgrounds, as well as others. A failure to use the appropriate measure of care, termed negligence, can be shown by speeding, including in a school zone, or failing to obey other traffic laws. Failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk can also constitute negligence.

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In downtown areas, drivers may naturally be on the look-out for pedestrians, especially where there are many office buildings or tourist areas. However, pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere at any time, even where there are sidewalks and designated crossing areas.

Recently, an elderly man was hit by a car that was making a right turn while he was crossing the street. The man experienced head trauma and is in critical condition at a local hospital. The accident occurred near Mt. San Antonio College at about 6:40 a.m., and authorities are still investigating the cause. At this time, the driver has not received a citation.

Pedestrians are particularly susceptible to injury when stuck by vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), over 78,000 pedestrians are injured per year by car accidents. Pedestrians who are injured by a driver may be able to recover damages against that driver if the driver acted negligently. Generally, drivers are required to use reasonable care, which typically means abiding traffic signals and the speed limit. Drivers must exercise a special, greater, duty of care where children are likely to be present, such as near schools and residential areas.

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Many San Jose and Santa Clara residents understand that driving on today's roads requires a driver to pay attention to a myriad of signals, signs and potential dangers. In addition to other drivers speeding around turns and changing lanes, a driver must also be aware of those not in vehicles in order to prevent pedestrian accidents. Unfortunately, a recent vehicle-pedestrian collision occurred in California.

A pedestrian was hit and injured on a Wednesday during the morning hours, leaving him with injuries that were life-threatening. He was taken to the hospital. The male was not identified and only a baseball cap and pool of blood were left behind at the scene of the accident. The driver of the vehicle, whose identity was not reported, fortunately did stop and is reported to be cooperating with the investigation. It is not yet known if the pedestrian was in the crosswalk.

Whether it's a Santa Clara or a San Jose car accident, the accident victims may have legal recourse if the driver was negligent in his or her actions. After an accident has occurred, victims are encouraged to record the incident with as much detail as they can. For instance, victims should obtain notes on conversations with potential witnesses and others involved in the accident as well as get their names and contact information. They should also get any other evidence such as the details on medical treatment.

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Drunk driving can be dangerous in any situation, but especially when pedestrians or other motorists fall into the path of a drunk driver. Pedestrians have almost no protection from vehicles, especially those driving erratically or at high speeds. Drunk driver accidents can leave pedestrians with serious injuries and can even be fatal.

A San Jose pedestrian became a victim of a drunk driving accident last year. The 72-year-old pedestrian was riding a Segway in a crosswalk when he was hit by a car. The car was being driven by an 84-year-old man who was driving under the influence of alcohol. The driver had run a red light. The pedestrian was taken to a local hospital but died a short time later.

Recently, the driver pleaded guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to jail. The driver will serve 18 months behind bars and an additional six months of probation.

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