San Francisco is at the top of many lists touting the most walkable cities in the United States. Although its population of just over 715,717 makes it the 18th largest city in the United States, it still has the feel of a collection of accessible neighborhoods. According to an Axios report, San Francisco is actually safer for those on foot than many other cities (it ranks at #3 in the nation) because 66% of its roads with significant pedestrian traffic have average driving speeds of under 25 miles per hour. Compare that to other cities with similar populations, and San Francisco looks like a safe haven for pedestrians.
For example, only 44.9% of the roads in Seattle, Washington (population 733,919) have an average vehicle speed of under 25 mph. And only 25% of the roads in Denver, Colorado (population 711,463) have an average vehicle speed of under 25 mph. The national average is 36%.
According to Lemonade Insurance Company, San Francisco is the MOST walkable city in the United States, as ranked on their scale that considers population density, distances to amenities, ability to run errands without a car, and accessibility to art, culture, and dining options,
Unfortunately, not all of the news is good news:
California’s Office of Traffic Safety warns that the pedestrian fatality rate in California “is almost 25% higher than the national average.” We have more pedestrian deaths here than in any other state. And San Francisco can be an especially dangerous city for walkers, whether they are locals or tourists. A Department of Public Health report, San Francisco Severe Traffic Injury Trends 2011-2020, concluded that pedestrian injuries were the most common severe traffic injuries reported by the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (most severely injured patients are treated at this Level 1 Trauma Center).
In 2022, 20 pedestrians died in San Francisco. This includes 7 individuals experiencing homelessness. Between 2020-2022, 45 pedestrians died in San Francisco and in that same period, 1,712 pedestrians were injured.
How to Avoid Pedestrian Accidents
To prevent pedestrian accidents in San Francisco, a combination of awareness, responsible behavior, and urban planning is essential. Here are some important considerations to take when walking in San Francisco:
- Make sure to walk on the sidewalk.
- Follow all the rules of the road.
- Use designated crosswalks instead of jaywalking.
- When you cross the road, look left, right, and left again and try to make eye contact with approaching drivers. You may have the right of way, but that doesn’t guarantee that drivers are paying attention.
- Just recently, Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers obtained a $700,000 settlement for a 62-year-old woman who was struck by a distracted driver who failed to yield the right of way in a crosswalk at the intersection of Bush and Scott Streets.
- A jogger was severely injured by a driver who ran a red light at an intersection at Market and Dolores Streets. Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers obtained a $100,000 settlement for this unfortunate runner who was obeying all of the rules of the road.
- Pay attention to your surroundings. This means that you should not be distracted by your cell phone or by wearing earbuds.
- Make sure that you are not incapacitated in any way.
- You may have had a great evening stopping at eateries or bars near Broadway and Columbus, but too many drinks can cloud your judgment when it comes to crossing the street. Both drugs and alcohol can impair decision-making and slow reaction times.
- It’s a good idea to wear reflective or bright clothing when it’s dark so that drivers can see you. A flashlight will also increase your visibility.
- Watch out for drivers who may be entering or exiting driveways or parking lots.
- Be aware of drivers turning right on red who may not be paying attention to pedestrians.
- Never assume that drivers will act predictably.
- Be aware that our city is a tourism mecca! We are projected to have 23.9 million visitors by the end of this year. Many of those visitors are international, so may not be familiar with the rules of the road in this country.
- Always be on the lookout for cyclists and electric scooter drivers.
Streets to Avoid in San Francisco
According to a September 21, 2022 article in The San Francisco Standard, out of 18,000 intersections in the city, the 10 areas to avoid for pedestrians are:
- 5th and Market
- 6th and Market
- Market and 7th
- Hyde and Turk
- 16th and Mission
- Turk and Leavenworth
- 6th and Howard
- 4th and Market
- 6th and Mission
- Mission and Geneva
Although the Vision Zero Plan (enacted in 2014) has made many physical improvements to our city that have saved lives, San Francisco can only be as safe as its residents and visitors, whether they are driving, cycling, or walking.
A San Francisco pedestrian accident can be devastating, if not fatal. In a collision between a 4,100-pound car and an unprotected pedestrian, the human will always be at a disadvantage. If you have been injured in a San Francisco pedestrian accident, you will benefit from the competent guidance of an experienced attorney. At Sally Morin Pedestrian Accident Lawyers, we will pursue full and fair compensation, both economic and non-economic, for your injuries.
Please call our legal team today at 877-380-8852 and request a free case evaluation.