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Pedestrian accidents on the rise

Many Californians enjoy walking from place to place rather that being behind the wheel when the weather is nice. Unlike occupants of cars, pedestrians do not have protection from the frame of a vehicle, and if they are struck by an auto they are much likelier to suffer severe injuries that can often be fatal.

A report by the Governors' Highway Safety Association shows that the number of U.S. pedestrian accidents has been on the rise for quite some time. In 2015, the number of pedestrian accidents increased by 10 percent over the preceding year and by 19 percent since 2009. A majority of them happen at non-intersections. Senior citizens, however, are killed in pedestrian accidents at intersections by much higher percentages than people of other age groups.

The association made a number of recommendations geared towards reducing the number of pedestrian accidents. They include installing new traffic signals where they are warranted, adding sidewalks, overpasses and underpasses, constructing refuge islands and optimizing traffic signals. It also has recommended implementing a number of measures to improve the ability of drivers to see pedestrians, such as adding street lights, making crosswalks highly visible and mounting flashing beacons to pedestrian crossing signs.

A pedestrian who has been hit by a car may be left with permanent disabilities and a severely reduced quality of life. An injured pedestrian might thus want to meet with a personal injury attorney to determine how best to proceed. If, after a review of the police investigation report and other evidence such as eyewitness testimony or video footage, it can be determined that the responsibility for the accident lies with a negligent driver, the attorney might recommended the filing of a lawsuit that would seek compensation from the at-fault motorist.

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