Everyone knows that biking and walking are good exercise for individuals, but in recent years local governments have begun thinking about these active forms of transportation in a broader sense. If bicycling and walking are healthful for the individual then a city can improve its population’s health by promoting biking and walking. And of course, biking and walking can mean reduced traffic congestion and lower air pollution levels
However, in even the most walkable cities, pedestrians and cyclists must still share the streets with motor vehicles. No pedestrian and bicyclist friendly program is complete without a plan to improve traffic safety.
Santa Clara County traffic safety
San Jose and the surrounding area has been wrestling with this problem for years. In a 2017 report called “Walking for a Healthier Santa Clara County,” Santa Clara County Public Health and the Traffic Safe Communities Network studied the issues at length. Among other findings, researchers reported that as many as 7% of all reported motor vehicle accidents in 2013 involved a pedestrian. Nearly half of these occurred in intersections as the pedestrian was crossing the street.
Personal injury law and public safety
City and county governments have come up with various initiatives to improve traffic safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, with mixed results. The injured themselves can also contribute to safer streets through personal injury law.
The first priority for the injured and their families after a pedestrian accident is to recuperate from their injuries, but as the recovery period drags on, they begin to see how the costs of their injury can pile up. If their injuries are the result of an accident caused by a negligent driver, they can hold the driver liable for their medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.
However, recovering compensation isn’t the only good reason for pursuing a claim against a negligent driver. By holding drivers accountable when their carelessness has led to injured pedestrians and bicyclists, the injured and their families can encourage other drivers to be more careful, and promote safer streets for all.