Recently in Pedestrian Accidents Category

October 20, 2012

Modesto Pedestrian Safety & Halloween Accident Risks

Halloween is one of the most dangerous nights out of the entire year for pedestrian accidents in Modesto and elsewhere, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
"Whether walking or driving, AAA urges all road users to utilize extra caution, be mindful of their surroundings and celebrate responsibly," said Linda Gorman, Director of Communications and Public Affairs for AAA.

Our Modesto pedestrian accident lawyers are asking parents take care of their little ghost and goblins on this dangerous night. Make sure that you talk with them about the risks and make sure to share with them some simple safety tips to help keep everyone safe out there. The Modesto Police Department is here with some of these tips.

Halloween Safety Tips:

-Before heading out to go trick-or-treating, plan out your route. Make sure you choose a route that's well-lit, that has safe crosswalks or street corners, that is away from fast-moving traffic and that you are familiar with the area.

-Drivers are asked to be cautious of pedestrians during this time of the year, especially in residential neighborhoods. Travel through these areas slowly.

-Make sure that everyone's costume is safe. You should tie up loose ends, wear comfortable shoes, keep masks away and use face paint and make sure that everyone can be easily seen by passing traffic.

-Always walk along a sidewalk when there is one available. Don't walk on people's yards.

-Use fake candles or even glow sticks in your jack-o-lanterns to avoid a fire hazard. When using actual fire, never leave it unattended.

-Avoid using simulated knives, guns or swords. If such props are used, be certain they do not appear authentic and are soft and flexible to prevent injury.

-Never allow young trick-or-treaters to venture out on their own. Make sure they're supervised by a responsible adult.

-Always carry a cell phone with you should you encounter an emergency.

-Stay away from people and pets that you don't know.

-Instruct children to only take candy from the doorstep. Never go into a home of someone who you do not know.

-Allow parents to look at candy before it's consumed. Get rid of candy that has been open, that has been tampered with or items that can serve as a choking hazard.

During this time of the year, and especially on Halloween night, drivers are asked to be careful out there. Slow down, especially when driving through residential neighborhoods, and be on the lookout for little ghosts and goblins. Avoid driving at night if you can. If not, try to stay out of neighborhoods, but be on your best behavior when leaving or entering yours. Safety on All Hallow's Eve is a joint effort and takes cooperation for everyone.

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February 13, 2012

Motorists Still Main Cause of Pedestrian Accidents in Modesto and Elsewhere

Researchers are studying a new type of pedestrian accident in Modesto. Experts with Transportation For America are looking at the number of "distracted" pedestrians who have been killed in recent years. The number of distraction-related pedestrian deaths is minimal in comparison to the problem as a whole.
Researchers have determined that the number of headphone-wearing pedestrians who have been killed in traffic-related accidents in the last six years has tripled. While it may sound like this problem is becoming epidemic, the truth of the matter is that these types of accidents still only accounted for about 0.3 percent of all pedestrian deaths during the study time. From 2000 to 2009, there were nearly 48,000 pedestrians killed on U.S. roadways in traffic-related accidents. Of the 48,000 pedestrian fatalities over the 9-year study, only about 115 were the result of pedestrians wearing headphones, according to researchers at The University of Maryland.

In California, where we're blessed with some pretty beautiful weather, our Modesto pedestrian accident lawyers understand that these types of accidents are all too common. During the study period, there were nearly 7,000 pedestrians killed along California roadways. In fact, there were more pedestrian fatalities in our state than in any other state in the country.

In recent news coverage, the media has attempted to shift the blame from motorists to pedestrians. Still, with less than half of a percent of these accidents being attributed to headphone-wearing pedestrians, how could it be their fault?

It's true that it's never a good idea to travel while distracted, whether you're walking, biking or driving. When traveling along the busy roadways of California, you need to make sure all of your attention is on the roadway and your surroundings.

Pedestrian advocates have found this study to be relatively meaningless, saying that it's like trying to help someone who's been stabbed in the chest and trying to find a little Band-Aid to patch the scratch on his knee. It just makes no sense.

The biggest threat was and continues to be motorists. Unfortunately, a majority of motorists travel our roadways with little to no regard for our on-foot travelers, who also have the right to be there.

Did you know that a majority of roadways where pedestrian accidents occurred in the U.S. are in fact streets that are eligible to receive federal funding? This money is supposed to be used for road projects to help make the streets safer, but it continues to be utilized to make roadways bigger and better to equip speedy travel. Nearly 70 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occurred on these dangerous roads.

Some researchers say the number of pedestrian fatalities resulting from distractions hasn't really changed with the advancement of iPods, smartphones and other technologies. The problem is less about headphones and cell phones and more about the lack of smart traffic engineering.

Experts commenting on the new research say the 0.3 percent of pedestrians killed while wearing headphones is not a large enough sample from which to draw any meaningful conclusions. Instead, their time is better spent addressing ways that we can work to protect the other 99.7 percent of non-headphone-wearing pedestrians who were killed in traffic-related accidents.

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September 28, 2011

Stockton Pedestrian Accident Takes out Two -- Officers Investigate

A recent pedestrian accident in Stockton is being investigated by the Stockton Police Department. In the accident, two pedestrians were hit by a van at the intersection of Market Street and El Dorado Street just before 3:00 p.m., according to The Record.

All that was left at the scene of the accident was a bunch of crumbled cookies and a shoe.

Traffic was redirected as the American Medical Response and the Stockton Fire Department worked to rescue the pedestrians. The driver of the van told officers that the brakes in his van slipped and he was unable to stop in time.
These types of accidents are exactly what researchers at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety have been tackling pedestrian safety. According to one of its recent reports, speed is one of the most influential factors in car-pedestrian accidents. Vehicle speed and pedestrian accidents have been studied extensively for decades now, but many of the older studies are antiquated and do not reflect changes in technology and the traveling environment. The newly released report considers changes in the composition of vehicle design, the walking population, and medical care over past decades.

Our Modesto pedestrian accident attorneys note the report offers safety recommendations. It concludes that speed should be reduced in high-traffic pedestrian areas because of the correlation between a vehicle's speed and the likelihood of serious or fatal injuries. For areas in which it would not be beneficial to reduce speed limits because of the need for fast traffic, researchers suggest that officials consider constructing a physical barrier that can keep pedestrian and vehicle traffic separated.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were nearly 4,100 pedestrian fatalities in 2009 across the country. Nearly 60,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic accidents as well. This means that a pedestrian was killed every two hours and a pedestrian was injured every nine minutes because of motor vehicle-related accidents during the year.

The outcome of the accidents relied largely on the speed that the vehicle was traveling during the time of impact. The faster the speed the higher the pedestrian's risk was for injury and death. AAA studied pedestrian-vehicle accident reports from the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS).

The risk for injury with varying speeds is as follows:

-When a vehicle strikes a pedestrian at 16 miles per hour, the pedestrians risk of severe injury sits at 10 percent.

-23 mph/25 percent.

-31 mph/50 percent.

-39 mph/75 percent.

-46 mph/90 percent.

The risk for death with varying speeds is as follows:

-When a vehicle strikes a pedestrian at 23 miles per hour, the pedestrians risk of severe injury sits at 10 percent.

-32 mph/25 percent.

-42 mph/50 percent.

-50 mph/70 percent.

-58 mph/90 percent.

The study also concluded that a significant factor in these risks is the age of the pedestrian. The older a pedestrian, the more risks they face. A 30-year-old pedestrian who is hit by a vehicle that's traveling at 35 mph faces the same risks as a 70-year-old pedestrian who is hit by a vehicle that is traveling at 25 mph.

Motorists are asked to drive with extreme caution in areas where pedestrians are present. It's oftentimes not a horrible idea to slow down a little bit as well. You may be the greatest danger to a pedestrian, but you can also help to save a life.

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April 9, 2011

Highway 108 a Dangerous Place for Modesto Pedestrian Accidents

The Modesto Bee is reporting a disturbing trend of pedestrians being hit on Highway 108. The roadway claimed another victim last month, which now puts the total at 17 in just over a year.

Our Modesto personal injury lawyers know that California leads the nation in pedestrian accidents.
Law enforcement will be beefing up patrols and will issue tickets to both drivers and pedestrians. Drivers will get a $243 ticket for not stopping for people in the crosswalk and pedestrians will be issued a $203 ticket for walking in front of cars. The police plan on using pedestrian decoys to see if vehicles will stop at crosswalks.

We recently reported on our Modesto Injury Lawyer Blog about the high rate of pedestrian accidents in Stockton, Modesto and the surrounding areas.

The Governors Highway Safety Associations Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State reports that California had 563 pedestrian deaths in 2009. For the first 6 months of 2010 we have had 260 which is the same amount for that time frame in 2009.

Police blame both drivers and pedestrians for being inattentive while driving and walking. They have been engaged in such activities as eating, putting on makeup, texting, talking on their cell phones. Anything and everything that is likely to distract them from paying attention to their surroundings.

Most of the accidents have involved children and the bulk of the injuries have been minor. The youngest victim was a 3-year-old hit by a texting driver. There has been one fatality that involved a 49-year-old who was intoxicated and was hit by a car while attempting to cross Highway 108 at night.

The latest victim was a 40-year-old who was walking across Highway 108 when she was hit by a pickup truck. Police reported that traffic was heavy and it was raining at the time of the accident.

Safety tips for all pedestrians:

-Make eye contact with the driver and always cross at a corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks.

-When crossing the street look left, right and left again. Always walk across the street, don't run.

-Use sidewalks or paths, if there aren't any, walk facing traffic.

-Be alert to vehicles around you.

-Children should hold hands with an adult in parking lots.

Pedestrian safety tips for children:
-Children under 10 should never cross streets by themselves.

-Children should walk using the routes with the fewest street crossings.

-Children should never cross the street behind a school bus and should wait for adults on the same side of the road as the school bus unloading or loading zone.

-Children need to be taught to not run into the road after a toy or pet.

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March 10, 2011

Man Dead and Three Girls Injured Dangerous SUV California Accident

A California resident flipped her Ford Expedition traveling 70mph earlier this month on Interstate 5, reported The Courier. The SUV swerved and flipped after the driver attempted to over-correct the drifting vehicle, ejecting three of the six passengers and causing a deadly Modesto car accident.

Modesto personal injury lawyers would like you to recognize the dangers of driving SUVs. According to a 10-year conducted study by the National Center for Statistics & Analysis (NCSA), 986 teen deaths resulted from SUV rollover accidents.
SUV rollover statistics, provided by The National Highway Safety Commission:

-The estimated roll over risk for an SUV is twice that of a standard-passenger vehicles.

-Male drivers are more likely to be involved in an SUV rollover accident.

-Older SUVs are more likely to roll than newer models.

-Teen drivers are significantly more likely to be involved in a rollover accident than older drivers.

According to the NCSA, another 16,000 suffered serious injuries in addition to the 986 that died during the 10-year study.

SUV Blogger provides SUV owners with safety tips to help prevent rollover accidents:

-Choose a smart SUV. Make sure you do your research before purchasing. Check consumer reports, ratings and guides.

-Choose sturdier SUVs, ones with more distance between the front and the back tires.

-Perform routine check-ups. Low-air pressure in one or more tires can increase the risk of a rollover accident.

-Most SUV rollover accidents occur when the vehicle leaves the main roadway. Pay attention and stay on track.

-"Skinny" SUVs have a higher rate for rollover. Pick a low and wide SUV for a safer ride.

It is important to remember that SUV rollover accidents can happen for a number of reasons: Manufacturer design, tire design and upkeep, and driving error.

Continue reading "Man Dead and Three Girls Injured Dangerous SUV California Accident" »

January 30, 2011

Walkers in Modesto, Stockton, at High Risk of Pedestrian Accidents

In 2010, Stanislaus County recorded more than a dozen pedestrian- or bicycle-involved fatal Modesto car accidents, the Modesto Bee reports.

Early morning on Jan. 13, the first pedestrian victim of 2011 was killed while crossing McHenry Avenue. He was not using the crosswalk, but investigators reported that other vehicles stopped for the man. The driver has yet to be cited or arrested, but Modesto police say it appears the 32-year-old is at fault. Such accidents frequently lead to serious or fatal injuries and should always be handled by an experienced Modesto personal injury lawyer.
In an effort to make streets safer for our youngest pedestrians, school districts in Stanislaus County, across California and, literally, around the globe, participated again last October in the International Walk to School Day.

About 500 area school children and their parents hit the streets and walked to school, the Modesto Bee reports. IWS is a global health-awareness initiative that promotes community, good health practices, conservation and traffic safety.

IWS began in 1997 in Chicago as an effort to bring families and their local representatives together to experience the importance of developing walkable communities. Last year, there were 3,500 registered IWS events nationwide drawing participants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Paired with the international community, U.S. students and families added to nearly 3 million walkers around the globe.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that in America a pedestrian-linked fatal car accident was responsible for one death every two hours and one pedestrian injury every eight minutes in 2008.

More than 4,300 pedestrians were killed walking along America's roadways. Another 69,000 were injured.

In California alone, almost 21 percent of pedestrian traffic fatalities were children aged 15 and younger; and nearly 10 percent of car accidents were linked to hit-and-run incidents. In 2008, 457 men and 185 women were struck and killed while walking along a California roadway. Men aged 45 to 54 were the most frequent victims, the California Highway Patrol reports.

IWS encourages students and parents to make walking a regular family affair. To help get families started, Walk to School provides a simple checklist that parents and children can use to evaluate the "walkability" of their community streets. Steps include:

STEP ONE: Pick a place to walk somewhere around your neighborhood. You can have a destination in mind or a more circuitous route. For parents of elementary-school age children, try introducing the subject as though it were an adventure; and you, explorers. Before you head out, review your walkability checklist together.

STEP TWO: Once you have a potential route selected, put on your walking shoes, bring a copy of the walkability checklist, and, hit the road. As you walk, evaluate. Make notes.

STEP THREE: Once you have identified areas for improvement, figure out what you can do to resolve them.

Continue reading "Walkers in Modesto, Stockton, at High Risk of Pedestrian Accidents" »