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What Are Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in California? 

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Chuck Geerhart
common causes of pedestrian accident

When a car hits a pedestrian in California, the results can be devastating.

Feeling safe when we are out walking shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Unfortunately, negligent and aggressive drivers don’t consider the harm they can cause when driving carelessly.

If you suffered injuries from a pedestrian accident, you deserve to recover compensation for your injuries.

Holding the right person responsible for what you have endured is essential. Read on to learn more about common causes of pedestrian accidents and how an attorney can help you. 

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents 

When walking or running on the road, paying attention to the drivers around you is vital for your protection and safety.

Sharing the road with buses, cars, motorcyclists, and even bicycles puts you at risk of serious injuries or death.

Understanding the most common causes of pedestrian accidents can help you recognize the warning signs of potentially dangerous drivers and protect you from getting hit.  

Distracted Driving 

Texting, talking on the phone, fiddling with a GPS or radio, eating, or talking with other passengers are examples of distracted driving.

Many drivers have engaged in distracted driving at one point or another. However, taking your eyes off the road, even briefly, can have terrible consequences.


Drivers who regularly engage in speeding are more likely to lose control of their car or not have enough time to stop when they encounter a change in road conditions – like a pedestrian crossing in front of them.

Unfortunately, pedestrians hit by a speeding car are more likely than not to suffer serious injuries or death due to the force of the impact at the time of the collision. 

Driving Under the Influence

Drivers who operate their vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol increase the chance of causing a collision or hitting an innocent pedestrian.

Alcohol and drugs substantially decrease a driver’s awareness and reaction time to sudden changes in road conditions. Engaging in this illegal behavior increases the likelihood of a collision. 

Failure to Obey Traffic Signs 

Drivers who fail to obey traffic signals put themselves, other drivers, and pedestrians at risk.

Rolling through stop signs when a pedestrian is crossing the street or speeding through a stop light increases the risk of a pedestrian getting hit by a car in California. 

Weather Conditions 

Inclement weather, such as snow, rain, sleet, and fog, may make it difficult for a driver to see a pedestrian crossing the street or walking on the side of the road. Additionally, driving at dawn or dusk when the sun is low may limit visibility and increase the chances of a pedestrian accident. 

Do Pedestrians Have the Right of Way?

Understanding the most basic traffic laws regarding pedestrians can help protect you from a potentially dangerous accident.

California pedestrian laws provide that pedestrians have the right of way when crossing the street at an intersection in a marked crosswalk.

Additionally, drivers must yield to pedestrians even if the crosswalk is not marked. While pedestrians are not required to use crosswalks, it is usually safer to do so.

While pedestrians have the right of way, it’s in your best interest to always be looking for vehicles when crossing the street. 

Contact Us 

If you’ve suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, you need an experienced San Francisco personal injury attorney to assist you.

The Law Office of Chuck Geerhart provides clients with decades of experience representing injured San Franciscans in all types of personal injury cases.

With a reputation as one of the finest trial lawyers in California, Chuck Geerhart provides you with personal attention from start to finish.

With millions recovered for injured clients, Chuck Geerhart understands the hardships you and your family face in the wake of such a traumatic experience.

His nearly 40 years of legal experience as an attorney puts his clients at an advantage in your case when you need it most.

As you focus on your recovery, the legal team at the Law Office of Chuck Geerhart gets to work immediately on your behalf to represent your best interests and vigorously defend your rights.

Contact our office today by phone or email to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you.

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