San Francisco reports significant increase in pedestrian and car accidents
If you live in San Francisco, your risk of being involved in an auto accident is on the rise. Due to a significant population increase over the last few years, as well as the introduction of rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber, San Francisco has seen an abrupt spike in pedestrian and motorist injuries. The Department of Public health reported fifty-five pedestrian injuries last year-the highest number since a 2014 city wide campaign to end traffic fatalities (San Francisco Chronicle). Motorized scooters have also added to the risk, accounting for nine severe injuries, including an elderly pedestrian. Here are some tips for avoiding injury the next time you’re in San Francisco
As a Driver:
- Remain vigilant in high foot traffic areas. No one expects to be hit by a car, and therefore pedestrians can often be distracted and reckless. Try to make eye contact when moving through pedestrian heavy intersections.
- Drive defensively. Other drivers may be distracted, tired, or inexperienced. If at a four way stop, don’t assume the car on the other side of the street will drive straight just because they don’t have their turn indicator on. If the car in front of you stops, do not try to drive around them as they may have stopped for a pedestrian.
- Plan for weather. Especially during the rainy season, allow for extra time to get to your destination, and reduce your speed if necessary. Remember that lower visibility reduces your response time to possible hazards.
As a Pedestrian:
- Be aware of your surroundings. Although it is illegal, people often operate motorized scooters on sidewalks, and accidents happen every day. Try to stay on the right side of the sidewalk and always double check before crossing any intersection. If possible, resist the urge to wear headphones as you may not hear a bike or scooter coming up behind you.
- Don’t trust drivers to stop for you. Especially in metropolitan areas, drivers are often distracted and impatient to reach their destination. Resist the urge jaywalk and only cross intersections when traffic comes to a complete stop.
- Avoid walking around at night. If this is not an option, try to wear bright clothing so that motorists can see you.
If you or someone you know is injured as a pedestrian or motorist, Kauffman and Associates can help. Contact our experienced personal injury accident team for a complimentary consultation.