The Vartazarian Law Firm

California pedestrians pay the price for distraction on the road

California has some of the strictest laws in the country when it comes to distracted driving. State laws not only prohibit use of a handheld phone and texting while driving, they make such actions primary offenses.

Unfortunately, plenty of motorists still use their phone while they drive. There are also many drivers who engage in other distracting behavior, from grooming to eating. This culture of distraction on California roads is quite troubling, especially when you realize that it is making streets and sidewalks less safe. This is particularly true for pedestrians.

Why are pedestrians less safe?

According to a recent article from NPR and statistics from the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian fatalities increased by a whopping 11 percent in 2016. The article notes that distraction on the part of motorists and pedestrians is a primary cause of accidents.

What does this mean for California pedestrians?

The increase in pedestrian accidents and fatalities means that Californians are perhaps more vulnerable than ever when they are biking, skateboarding or walking. It means that the expectation that drivers will be paying attention may be gone, and despite advances in today's cars and trucks, technology cannot prevent every crash from occurring.

What can you do if you are hit by a distracted driver?

Pedestrians who are struck by vehicles often suffer catastrophic injuries; some do not survive the accident. Considering all the physical, emotional and financial damage done in these crashes, it is crucial for victims and their families to understand their options to pursue compensation.

Filing a lawsuit will not undo an accident or replace a loved one, but it can:

  • Hold accountable the parties who failed to use caution and be safe around pedestrians
  • Reinforce the message that distracted driving is dangerous
  • Result in compensation for the economic and noneconomic damages suffered as a result of someone else's negligence and recklessness

If you have any questions or concerns about filing a legal claim against a distracted driver, then talking to an attorney can be a good first step in assessing your options.

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