Californians may not be aware that April has been designated National Distracted Driving Awareness month. In an effort to reduce the chances of a pedestrian accidentand resulting injuries, the San Diego police department reminds drivers of common violations that give rise to a citation. These actions can also lead to civil liability in court if a pedestrian files a lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident.
• Turning right on a green light. Drivers turning right must yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk unless there is ample time to make the turn. It is not permissible to force a pedestrian to stop midway through the crosswalk to wait for a turning car.
• Neglecting to stop at a red light. Many pedestrian accidents occur when a driver races through a red light at an intersection. If even the rear of the car passes the painted line after the light has changed, it is a violation. Other no-no’s include turning right on a red light where prohibited by a sign or red arrow.
• Distracted driving. A recent study in San Diego determined that over half of drivers surveyed admit to speaking on a cell phone while driving. This month, police are increasing enforcement of the distracted driving laws, and they will be ticketing drivers who are not paying attention to the road.
Pedestrians who are attempting to cross the street when they are hit by an inattentive or aggressive driver can be knocked down causing broken bones or other trauma. In such a situation, it is a good idea for the injured person to make an appointment with an experienced attorney who can provide legal assistance and advice.
Source: La Jolla Light, “Motorists vs. Pedestrians: La Jolla Survey says distracted driving is chief cause of accidents,” Ashley Mackin, April 17, 2013