When a pedestrian is struck by motor vehicle, it isn’t even a contest. The car will win. A pedestrian has no protection against the force of a powerful car, which is why many of these accidents prove fatal for the person on foot.
San Francisco is working on becoming the nation’s leading “walkable” city, for both residents and vacationers alike. That goal is being hindered by the number of pedestrian accidents that occur each year — a number that has increased over the past several years.
The San Francisco Police Department reported that there were a total of 948 vehicle-pedestrian injuries in 2012. If that number seems shocking, it should. It is the highest that it has been in the city in the past 12 years. Of all of the accidents that occurred this past year, 43 percent of them were caused by a driver’s violation of a pedestrian’s right of way.
Some of the leading causes of right-of-way collisions are speeding, running a red light or a stop sign, failing to yield to individuals in a crosswalk or inattention when making a left-hand turn. The police department had hoped that an educational campaign focused on drivers and launched this past year would help reduce pedestrian accidents. Although it still could, the numbers don’t show that it has.
The Walk San Francisco Executive Director Nicole Schneider believes that drivers often escape liability even when they are the cause of the accident.
It’s true that personal injury lawsuits are based on jury verdicts that award compensation to victims. The other side of a lawsuit such as this one is that it forces drivers to take responsibility for their negligent actions even when police may choose to forgo criminal sanctions.
Source: SF Examiner, “Pedestrian-vehicle injury collisions rising in San Francisco,” Jessica Kwong, Oct. 29, 2013