Did you know the cost of someone’s car can predict how likely they are to hit a pedestrian? Studies show that for every $1,000 increase in a car’s value, the driver is 3% less likely to yield to a pedestrian in the roadway.
For pedestrians, a failure to yield can be deadly. California pedestrian deaths have risen by 26% since 2014 and each year more than 14,000 of our state’s pedestrians are injured in road accidents. In fact, there are two pedestrian accidents every single day in the city of San Francisco.
Many Drivers Feel a Sense of Superiority
Research shows that only about 28% of drivers yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. The majority of all drivers say they aren’t certain about their local pedestrian laws. You have to wonder: Do they even care?
A study by the Journal of Transport & Health observed pedestrians and drivers as they interacted at crosswalks. The researchers instructed pedestrians to approach the crosswalk, make eye contact with the driver, and begin to walk only if the driver was yielding. Researchers also recorded the make and model of each driver’s car.
When they compared the results to Kelly Blue Book values, it was clear that the drivers who were least likely to yield to pedestrians also had the highest car values. The researchers connected this to previous studies showing that people with higher socioeconomic status often feel lower levels of empathy.
Studies on narcissism have found that some people feel a sense of superiority or grandiosity, as if their own self-enhancement trumps the well-being of others. When someone like this approaches a pedestrian in a crosswalk, they may just feel too superior to stop.
Auto vs. Pedestrian: An Unfair Fight
In a match between a human being and a two-ton vehicle, the human will lose. That’s why our state’s laws are designed with pedestrian safety in mind.
Under California law, pedestrians in crosswalks automatically have the right of way. Outside a crosswalk, a pedestrian isn’t allowed to step into the path of a vehicle, but a vehicle driver is still responsible for exercising due care to avoid hitting any pedestrian in the roadway.
This means a driver who injures or kills a pedestrian in a crosswalk will probably lose a lawsuit against them. In addition, they may be fined, receive points on their DMV driving record, have their license suspended, or even face jail time if they were criminally negligent.
Even a jaywalker who fails to use a crosswalk can sometimes win a lawsuit. The burden is still upon the driver to prove they exercised California’s required due care to avoid hitting a pedestrian in the roadway.
After a Pedestrian Accident, You Need Legal Representation
If you’re the victim of an accident, talk to a lawyer about pedestrian accident compensation as soon as possible. This could be a life-changing event that affects your ability to walk, work, and survive the accident financially.
Preserve any evidence from the scene and save all of your medical bills and other paperwork. A pedestrian accident lawyer can help you hold the driver responsible, secure the resources you need to recover from your injuries, and move forward with your life.
Experience a serious pedestrian accident?
Check out our Pedestrian Accident Page to learn more about how the process works.
We Handle Your Pedestrian Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After a pedestrian accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of traffic injury law, including pedestrian-vehicle accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details. We truly care about our fellow citizens of San Francisco and California. Get your free online case evaluation.