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Why do pedestrians get hit by cars?

Reports showed that 76,000 pedestrians were injured one year in car accidents, and other reports indicate that around 5,000 people die in these accidents annually. These are staggering numbers, and certainly there are cases where the pedestrians are at fault—such as when they jaywalk at night and drivers never have a chance to react. However, experts do note that many of these accidents are caused by drivers who make very clear errors. Some examples include the following:

-- Drivers who are distracted behind the wheel. A driver who is texting may hit a pedestrian that he or she never sees.

-- Drivers who don't give pedestrians the right of way. In a crosswalk, drivers who are turning need to wait for pedestrians to cross before turning, but not all do.

-- Drivers who are breaking the speed limit. This can limit reaction times and could make a pedestrian try to cross the road, thinking there is plenty of space, when there isn't enough time.

-- Drivers who ignore traffic signals. Pedestrians are in significant danger, for instance, when a driver runs a red light.

-- Driver who don't use their turn signals. A driver may think he or she doesn't need to signal when no other cars are around, but this could cause a pedestrian to walk into the road, thinking the car is going straight, only to be hit when it turns.

-- Driving after drinking or using drugs. This is especially dangerous in urban areas near bars and nightclubs, as a driver who leaves the road could hit many people on the sidewalk.

If you've been injured in an accident in California, you may want to seek compensation.

Source: FIndLaw, "Pedestrian Accidents Overview," accessed May 13, 2016

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