In 2013, 11 pedestrians were killed in Contra Costa County out of 46 total deaths from motor vehicle accidents.
Every Walnut Creek resident is a pedestrian at some time. A person can be hit even while walking through a parking lot. This makes it highly important to be aware of the risks that face pedestrians on area streets every day. Distracted drivers, drunk drivers and reckless drivers can be found anywhere and anytime.
The following are just a few stories from around the area that highlight the true danger that exists:
- A man tending to his baby while driving, failed to see a pedestrian before striking him in Walnut Creek according to SFBay.com. The victim was taken from the accident scene, near Schooner Way and Loftus Road, to John Muir Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
- A 21-year old mother was to be taken off of life support by her family after being pronounced brain dead. The ContraCostaTimes.com reported that she was hit by a car as she and her 11-month old son were walking across a street on their way home from the library.
- A pedestrian sustained life-threatening injuries after being hit near Hutchinson Trail and Walnut Avenue one Saturday evening. The driver responsible for the crash reportedly fled the scene, according to ABC7news.com
- Another hit-and-run pedestrian accident left one pedestrian dead and another injured, according to the ContraCostaTimes.com. Reports note that the driver left the scene of the accident on foot.
Sharing the road with vehicles, large and small, puts innocent people at risk during even the most routine outings.
A look around the Bay Area
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records show the risk to pedestrians exists throughout the entire Bay Area. In 2013, 11 out of 46 traffic fatalities in Contra Costa County were pedestrians. In San Francisco County, 18 out of 33 fatalities were pedestrians.
Pedestrian deaths number 32 in Santa Clara County, 24 in Alameda County, 10 in San Mateo County and eight in Solano County. The entire state of California recorded 701 pedestrian deaths in 2013.
How to stay safe
Visibility is important for pedestrians. Wearing bright colors is a great way to increase visibility to all motorists. Pedestrians should also be sure to use crosswalks and sidewalks and obey traffic signals. If no sidewalk is available, it is advisable to walk on the opposite side of the street. This allows pedestrians to better see oncoming traffic, increasing their ability to move out of the way if needed.
When these safety measures fail to prevent an accident, victims or their loved ones should always seek assistance from an attorney.