This past November two pedestrians were critically injured in separate auto accidents in Alameda. One accident occurred on Bay Farm Island, and the other occurred on Webster Street near the Posey Tube. Both accidents are still under investigation by the Alameda police.
Recently, I was at an event at which Mayor Gilmore was speaking. She mentioned that Alameda experienced over forty pedestrian accidents in the past year alone. When I first heard this number, I was rather shocked. That is an average of over three pedestrian injury accidents per month. But then I began to think about it, and wonder if this was a high number or not when compared to other cities with similar population bases.
It turns out that the State Office of Traffic Safety did a study which addressed this question of where Alameda ranks in terms of auto accident safety in general. It is based on data through 2010 which came from the California Highway Patrol, Caltrans, county coroners, and the state departments of finance and justice. When comparing the City of Alameda with other cities with populations between 50,000 and 100,00 people, Alameda ranked 76 out of 103 cities in the number of auto accident where victims were injured or killed (A number 1 ranking is the worst and a ranking of 103 being the best). However, when comparing the city with other cities based on the "daily vehicle miles traveled", Alameda did worse, ranking 38 out of 103. There was a total of 209 injured auto accident victims in general in 2010. Therefore, it would appear that our having forty pedestrian accidents in 2013 would seem to be a high number for our city.
Overall, the picture for the State of California in general is improving. The number off fatal auto accidents was the lowest since 1944. Experts attribute this to safer roads, safer vehicles, better restraint systems, and better alcohol awareness programs.
As an Alameda personal injury attorney, I have represented numerous pedestrians who have been injured in serious automobile accidents. As you might imagine, the injuries are often serious and permanent. Frequently, the pedestrian suffers serious injuries to the legs, and knees. If he or she is thrown up onto the hood of the vehicle, we ofter see traumatic brain injuries as well. Many of these pedestrian injuries occur while the injured person was lawfully walking in a marked crosswalk.
What can we do to help reduce the number of these injuries? As drivers we must be particularly observant when making left or right turns at an intersection. Often times, a pedestrian will be crossing the street with a green light and will have the right of way in the crosswalk. However, we may be more focused on auto traffic and not be looking for pedestrians. These are probably the most frequent types of pedestrian motor vehicle collisions that I see. As pedestrians, even though we have the right of way in the crosswalk, we shouldn't take that right for granted. Always be vigilant for turning vehicles while crossing the roadway, and never cross the street while using your cell phone or engaging in other distracting activities.
If you are injured as a pedestrian, you may file a personal injury claim to recover for your medical bills, your lost earnings and your pain and suffering, If the driver was uninsured or was a hit and run driver, as a pedestrian, your own automobile uninsured motorist coverage will protect you.
Two Pedestrians in Critical Condition After Pair of Accidents, Alameda Patch, November 7, 2013
Traffic Accidents: How Alameda Stacks Up, Alameda Patch, April 10, 2012