California is one of the most dangerous places to be a pedestrian. According to data from the state’s Office of Traffic Safety, pedestrian deaths in auto accidents increased by almost 33% between 2012 and 2016. California’s rate for these types of incidents is higher than any other state and 30% higher than the national average.
Take these steps to keep yourself safe if you walk on California’s roads.
Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible. If no sidewalk exists, walk facing traffic as far to the side of the road as possible so motorists can see you coming.
When walking at night, always carry a flashlight. Wear brightly colored clothing or reflective tape to increase your visibility to drivers. Make eye contact with motorists to confirm that they see you.
If possible, walk during the day instead of after dark. Most traffic fatalities take place between 8 p.m. and midnight, according to AAA.
Avoid dangerous behavior
We know that texting while driving is dangerous, but walking and texting can also be risky because it takes your attention off the task at hand. Headphones are hazardous because you cannot hear traffic, horns and other important sounds that may signify danger. Pay attention to your surroundings to avoid stepping into a dangerous situation. Walking under the influence of drugs or alcohol also increases your risk of an accident.
Be aware of traffic
Before entering an intersection or crossing the street, confirm your clear path by looking left, then right and left again. Keep an eye out for vehicles turning into your path, and obey traffic signals. Do not cross except at a marked crosswalk.
If you or a loved one is seriously injured as a pedestrian in an auto accident, you may be eligible for legal compensation. If the motorist was at fault for the crash, you can seek financial damages for medical bills, lost wages and other associated costs.