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How to Avoid a Pedestrian Accident in Los Angeles

With some of the best weather in the world and highly walkable urban enclaves, Los Angeles is one of the best cities to get around as a pedestrian. While it’s common for people to get around on foot, it’s also common for L.A. residents to get where they need to go by getting behind the wheel. As such, there is an added danger for L.A. pedestrians who might find themselves injured by a reckless driver. If you’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident, a Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney at our firm can help. We have significant experience litigating personal injury claims on behalf of L.A. pedestrians and understand the laws governing traffic safety in California to argue for the highest award of damages for your injuries.

Below, we review our best advice for ensuring you avoid an accident while taking to the L.A. streets on foot.

Follow All Traffic Safety Rules

It’s important to be well-versed in each local city’s ordinances regarding traffic safety. While no one can predict the senseless actions of a reckless driver, ensuring you follow the rules will help you avoid a serious accident. Some of the most important rules to remember are to look both ways for oncoming traffic before crossing – even if you have the right of way; always remain in the designated boundaries of the pedestrian crosswalk; avoid jaywalking – meaning avoid crossing the street in the middle of the road and not at a traffic light or stop sign; and never cross the street when the red traffic signal is blinking, even if you don’t see a car coming. These easy to remember pedestrian safety laws will ensure you can walk safely and securely around Los Angeles.

Avoid Distractions

In our hyper-connected world, it’s easy to take a look at a text message or email immediately upon receiving a notification. However, anything can happen in a split second, and your best chance at avoiding an accident with a motorist while on foot is to stay alert and focused on the path you’re walking. You may need to dart or jump out of harm’s way if a reckless driver comes barreling toward you, and you can’t do that when you’re looking down at your phone! Even though it may seem harmless, avoid cell phone distractions like texting, talking, or reading while you’re out on your walk.

Be Predictable

Even if you are in a hurry, don’t make surprising moves while walking. Avoid darting around cars, don’t suddenly step onto the street, and walk in a straight line so you’re not putting yourself at risk of a driver not seeing you or anticipating your next move.

Specific Actions for Staying Safe as a Pedestrian or a Driver 

Some precautions can be taken by pedestrians and motor vehicle drivers to help prevent pedestrian accidents. Our experienced Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney states that pedestrians should:

  • Walk on sidewalks whenever possible.
  • Stay alert and not be distracted by electronics.
  • Peek around parked vehicles before stepping out past them. 
  • Look both ways and over your shoulder when entering the street at a marked or unmarked crosswalk
  • Cross at crosswalks and intersections when possible. If a pedestrian cannot cross at a crosswalk or intersection, they should look for a significant gap in traffic to maximize the amount of time they have to cross.
  • Pedestrians should not assume a motor vehicle driver sees them, or if they do see them, that they will stop. Only start crossing after all vehicles have stopped.
  • Make eye contact with a driver before stepping front of a vehicle.
  • Never step behind a vehicle that is in reverse and the tail lights are illuminated. 
  • If walking with children, always hold their hands while crossing the street. 
  • Avoid all distractions and do not use your cell phone while crossing the street. 
  • Continue to look for cars while crossing the street.
  • Wear bright colors and reflective clothing. When walking at night, a pedestrian should carry a flashlight. 

Motor vehicle drivers should take the following precautions:

  • Go slowly in areas that frequently have pedestrians, including school zones and around school buses.
  • Be extra cautious during inclement weather and at night.
  • Do not quickly drive around a car that stops in front of them.
  • Be very watchful when driving in reverse, especially in parking lots and driveways.
  • Yield to pedestrians whenever possible. 
  • Obey traffic signals and do not drive over the posted speed limit. 
  • Always double check for pedestrians. After making sure it is safe to turn because no vehicles are approaching, check both ways a second time.

Contact a Los Angeles Pedestrian Accident Attorney If You’ve Been Hurt

Sometimes, being careful isn’t enough to avoid a driver’s negligence. Despite safety precautions, pedestrian accidents do happen – and you shouldn’t have to deal with the fallout on your own. An experienced Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney can help you recover compensation for your injuries. Contact our offices today.