San Francisco's Vision Zero campaign includes an effort to avoid personal injuries to citizens by, in part, changing city's streets to better protect pedestrians and bicyclists. City officials optimistically hope to eliminate traffic fatalities in San Francisco by 2024.
Even waiting at the bus stop in San Francisco is not as safe as you might think. Minding your own business on the curb still can put you in the path of an out-of-control car or truck and expose you to serious injury.
Readers may have heard that in California, motorists must always yield to pedestrians. This implies that drivers are at fault whenever they hit somebody crossing the street. But is that really the law? In fact it is not.
Even in communities like San Francisco where WalkSF and its vision 2020 campaign seek to make streets and sidewalks safer for pedestrians, people on foot remain vulnerable when crossing the street, even when they are using the crosswalk and following traffic laws. When an inattentive or out-of-control motorist is behind the wheel, a pedestrian may have as little as one to two seconds to get to safety.
Walking on the shoulder of the road is not ideal, but sometimes it is necessary. Many roads lack sidewalks, making the shoulder the safest option available for getting to your destination on foot.
Even when pedestrians are not crossing the street, they are still at risk for being struck by wayward auto drivers. Within the last three years, our attorneys here at Walkup Melodia have handled three major injury accident cases where drivers either lost control, became confused about their surroundings, or absentmindedly put their car into drive instead of reverse when near the sidewalk. Because those drivers failed to keep their automobile safely off of the sidewalk, terrible injuries resulted to pedestrians who were minding their own business.
Legendary musician David Crosby accidently struck a pedestrian with his car recently. The victim's injuries were said not to be life-threatening, but he suffered multiple bone fractures, according to CNN.
Sadly, there is another case of a young pedestrian getting hit by an SUV in San Francisco to report. As the city seeks ways to improve safety for walkers and bike riders, a 5-year-old girl was critically injured by the vehicle as she crossed the street with her mother.
In a couple of blog posts from January, we shared about our commitment at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger to giving back to the community. We are particularly proud of our involvement with Walk San Francisco, a nonprofit group dedicated to improving the safety of pedestrians in the city.