Last week a cyclist ran a red light on the Embarcadero and hit a pedestrian, sending her to the hospital with a life threatening head injury. The cyclist was not injured and has not been cited or arrested for the infraction. The police may or may not file charges, as the investigation is pending. Here in California cyclists face the same potential legal repercussions a driver of a car involved in a car accident might face, if they were found to be responsible. Albie Esparza, the officer on the scene, pointed out cyclists need to remember to stop at every stop sign and every stop light, as they are considered a motor vehicle, with the human being acting as the motor. He also pointed out, in not so many words, that while officers do conduct traffic stops on cyclists, it just isn’t practical to go after a cyclist every time they commit infraction.
Often we hear about pedestrians who have been injured by cars, but few pedestrians are injured by cyclists. This kind of thing, however rare it may be, can happen to any cyclist and pedestrian at any moment. In their fight for their right to share on the road, some cyclists have forgotten the bigger picture: that everyone has the right expect others to follow the rules of the road and that drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians need to look out for each other. At the same time, however, the rules of safety on the road go both ways– both drivers and non drivers need to be aware of traffic. It is true that pedestrians need to learn how to walk defensively in this city, as sidewalks are occupied by not just pedestrians. They are home to rollerbladers, skateboarders, scooters, and even segways. And the intersections between sidewalks include not only cars-there are bicycles, skateboarders, and scooters there, too. Pedestrians need to look out for their own safety and not assume cars and bicyclist are paying attention. It would be wise for all pedestrians in San Francisco to adapt situational awareness everywhere they walk. It is important for pedestrians to stay out of a driver’s blind spot, make eye contact with drivers when crossing busy streets, and cross the street only when it is safe, not only when the signal tells your or when you have the right of way. Keeping things in perspective is key. It doesn’t matter if you have the right of way when an inattentive driver comes along and runs over you. Being right isn’t always point out there in the streets. Staying alive is.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury as a pedestrian, please contact our firm for a a free, no obligation consultation. With over 10 years experience fighting for the rights of pedestrians, our San Francisco pedestrian accident attorneys have the expertise to help you receive compensation for your losses. Our firm has offices located in San Francisco and Oakland, making it convenient for injured people from anywhere Bay Area to meet with us.