A driver allegedly under the influence plowed his car into four men, who were standing on the sidewalk outside a home in East Oakland in late March. One died, while the others injured. Authorities captured the driver, arrested on charges of vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run causing death and driving under the influence.
Such an incident represents another example of the hazards that pedestrians face throughout the country. Whether walking in a crosswalk, crossing at a stop sign or traffic signal or just standing on a sidewalk, it seems that many pedestrians are not safe from injury or a fatality.
Reckless and dangerous drivers
In late February, the Governors Highway Safety Association released its annual report concerning pedestrian fatalities in each state. California came out looking unfavorably. The report concluded that California had the most pedestrian fatalities with 519 in the first six months of 2019. The number represented a 12% increase compared with the 464 pedestrian fatalities recorded during the same time in the previous year.
The report attributed a number of driving-related factors to the causes of fatalities to pedestrians. They included:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Driving while impaired by alcohol or a controlled substance
Unsafe driving behaviors also contribute to serious injuries to pedestrians. Through the years, hospital emergency rooms have treated pedestrians for a number of injuries, including traumatic brain injury, spinal injuries leading to paralysis, permanent back injuries, serious fractures and losses of limbs.
Pedestrians must remain alert. Who knows when a distracted driver with a smartphone or impaired driver due to alcohol may be heading in your direction? The four men from Oakland did not see one coming. One was killed and the other three must recover from their injuries. If you or a loved one find yourselves in such a situation, a skilled personal injury attorney can explain your legal options.