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Pedestrians have a right to walk safely

Pedestrians may feel safe on sidewalks and in crosswalks, but the truth is that nowhere is really safe from the risk of a crash. Any time a person in on or near the roads, a driver could make a mistake and hit that pedestrian. Similarly, pedestrians can make mistakes that put them in harm's way.

Did you know that, in 2018, 893 pedestrians were killed in California? That was an increase of 26% from 2014. On top of that, another 14,000 were injured.

It is possible to reduce the number of people being hurt or killed, but only if people start looking at the causes and work to correct their own errors.

Did you know that California's pedestrian fatality rate is around a quarter higher than the national average?

Even accounting for size and population, no state has as many pedestrian fatalities as California. That's why California has put such a heavy emphasis on pedestrian and driving safety in recent years.

What should pedestrians do to stay safer near the roads?

To stay safe on or around the roadways, pedestrians should:

  • Walk in groups when possible, so that they are more visible
  • Take off headphones or take out earbuds, so that they can hear what is happening around them
  • Walk across roadways only in marked intersections or when they are at an intersection. This is where drivers expect to see people cross
  • Use caution when walking around parked vehicles in roadways
  • Never run out into traffic for any reason
  • Always wear light, bright or reflective attire
  • Travel as close to the side of the road as possible, facing traffic, when walking with no sidewalk present

What can drivers do to minimize the risk of a collision?

Drivers can reduce the risk of a collision with pedestrians in several ways:

  • Pay attention to the road
  • Always stop prior to a crosswalk
  • Look before turning on red, since pedestrians may have a WALK signal at that time
  • Slow down in areas where pedestrians are more likely to be present
  • Wait for pedestrians to exit crosswalks before continuing
  • Stop fully at stop signs
  • Follow all traffic laws

When it comes to ways to reduce collisions, most are common sense. Follow the rules of the road, be aware of your surroundings and always check both ways before crossing. Pedestrians can be badly hurt in crashes, so taking the time to slow down or look both ways is extremely important.

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