With no protection, there is a high likelihood for serious injuries when a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian. Each year in the United States, motor vehicles kill approximately 5,000 pedestrians and injure an additional 64,000. Eleven percent of all roadway fatalities are pedestrian fatalities. Approximately every 8 minutes a motor vehicle injures a pedestrian in an accident and kills a pedestrian every 2 hours. Most of these pedestrian accidents happen in an urban setting. Statistics show that the faster the vehicle, the more likelihood of a pedestrian fatality.
Negligence of the driver is the most common reason for injuries and deaths to pedestrians. Some common reasons for negligence is the driver’s inattentiveness, speeding, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and failing to obey traffic control devices.
California’s Department of Transportation works to provide safe and accessible passages on and across highways and roadways in order to prevent pedestrian deaths and injuries. Pedestrians are people transporting by foot, skateboard, walker, stroller, and wheelchair. Pedestrians have legal rights, which automobile drivers should respect, and have to follow a number of policies to ensure their safety while crossing the road.
California law states that a vehicle’s driver shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian at crosswalks and on sidewalks. The purpose of these rules is to protect pedestrians from injuries and possible death due to negligent driving.