Our Blog

How the Public Perceives San Francisco Pedestrian Accidents

San Francisco residents were outraged after the recent death of an elderly San Francisco pedestrian who was struck by a cyclist on Castro Street. The cyclist, who will likely face criminal charges and a wrongful death lawsuit, sparked an intense debate about pedestrian safety and the increase of aggressive cyclists on area roads.

MUNI bus accidents in San Francisco also draw considerable public attention but the San Francisco Examiner notes that car accidents involving passenger vehicles go virtually unnoticed by the public.

“I think for a long time, people have assumed that car crashes are inevitable – that somehow it’s an act of God,” a pedestrian safety advocate said. “But these accidents are both preventable and tragic, and it’s time we started paying attention to them.”

Fatal pedestrian accidents typically result in wrongful death lawsuits against the responsible party. Wrongful death lawsuits are brought by the surviving family members of a deceased pedestrian and can reimburse a grieving family for medical expenses, funeral costs and the loss of love and support.

Over 80 percent of local pedestrian fatalities involve private vehicles. Last year, two of the 17 San Francisco pedestrians killed were hit by MUNI vehicles and one pedestrian died after being hit by a cyclist.

“I think that there is a lot of frustration starting to mount about pedestrian fatalities,” said Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Supervisor for District 8, which covers the Castro and Upper Market area. “I think people are starting to understand that everyone needs to be safe on our roads.”

Source: San Francisco Examiner, “Three pedestrian deaths elicit varied reactions in San Francisco,” Will Reisman, May 5, 2012