San Francisco is Seeing a Rise in Pedestrian and Cyclist Deaths

San Francisco is Seeing a Rise in Pedestrian and Cyclist Deaths

San Francisco can be a dangerous place for pedestrians and cyclists. The Bay area is seeing an uptick in fatal road accidents involving people who are walking and riding bikes.

In 2017, there were 20 traffic fatalities within the city and county of San Francisco. In 2018 and 2019, the number of traffic deaths rose to 23 and 29, with a rising number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths included in this unfortunate upward trend.

Going Car-Free Can Be a Risky Route

Many people in San Francisco have opted to live without vehicles. They’re out on the city’s streets walking to the grocery store, running down the sidewalks, and using the city’s 40-plus miles of bicycle lanes. It’s good for the planet and great for your health, but there’s a risk of severe injury.

A walker or cyclist’s body is openly exposed to road traffic. Unlike the driver of a car or truck who has a steel frame surrounding them, a pedestrian can be crushed in even a low-speed, low-impact crash.

For example, a pedestrian was killed by a hit-and-run driver near the intersection of Bayshore Boulevard and Jerrold Avenue. Michael Kingsley was walking near Bernal Dwellings around noon on a weekend in mid-July 2020 when a driver ran over him and left him to die in the street. Driver Nifo Ufau later turned himself in at the San Francisco police department and was charged with vehicular manslaughter.

Just a month prior, Sergio Montes was killed while walking near the intersection of Dwight Street and San Bruno Avenue. And three years before, local grocer Konstantinos "Gus" Vardakastanis, of Gus's Community Markets, was struck and killed while walking in almost exactly the same area where Kingsley later died.

San Francisco Has Danger Zones for Walkers and Cyclists

Some San Francisco streets are particularly dangerous for people who are traveling by bicycle or on foot. The pedestrian support organization Walk San Francisco has pointed out that 75% of crashes happen on just 13% of the city’s streets.

Dangerous areas include:

  • Along Market Street, especially at the 5th Street, Gough Street, and Octavia Street intersections
  • On Mission Street, especially at the busy 7th Street and 16th Street intersections
  • At 2nd Street and Bryant Street
  • At 6th Street and Howard Street
  • At 9th Street and Mission Street
  • At 16th Street and Valencia
  • At Eddy Street and Jones Street
  • At Fell and Masonic

What do these dangerous areas have in common? They have a deadly combination of frequent use by pedestrians and bicyclists, heavy vehicle traffic, and complex intersections with a variety of signs and lights.

Some dangerous intersections also present situations where even if something is legal, it’s still unsafe. For example, Walk San Francisco would like to see the city reduce the number of legal right turns on red because turning right on a red light can cause a pedestrian accident.

Personal Injury Claims in Pedestrian and Cyclist Deaths

Next time you’re walking or riding your bike in San Francisco, take extra caution in the most dangerous areas and watch out for erratic drivers. But you can’t always avoid an accident.

After a pedestrian or cycling crash, you may have a personal injury case. You can talk to a lawyer about the value of your claim, which may include compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, bicycle damage, pain and suffering, and more.

At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we have decades of experience with San Francisco pedestrian and cyclist accident cases. We’re here to help!


Donnie G.
SF Accident Client

While riding my bike to work, I was struck by a motorist who ran a red light. The driver stayed on the scene and seemed genuinely concerned about my well-being. However, when I sent my claim to her insurance, she denied the events as I, and my witnesses, reported them. Sally's expertise was instrumental in dealing with the insurance company to get a good settlement. She is very responsive, a true professional, and just a lovely person to work with. I would recommend Sally Morin in a heart-beat.

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After an injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including pedestrian and cyclist accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.

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