Pedestrian accidents in San Francisco increased sharply in 2019. On average, every 15 hours someone was taken to San Francisco General Hospital after being struck by a vehicle. Recently a 50-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed by a speeding motorist while crossing the street at Geary Boulevard and Gough Street. The driver was arrested and jailed without bail on suspicion of manslaughter, reckless driving, speeding and entering a crosswalk on a red light. The victim was the seventh (7th) pedestrian traffic fatality this year in San Francisco.
Although there may be less pedestrian accidents since COVID-19 AStay at home orders,@ drivers appear to be traveling faster because of fewer vehicles on the road. The speed of a vehicle hitting a person at 40 mph will result in a fatality 80 percent of the time. A speed of 30 mph will result in death 4 out of 10 times.
The City has set a goal of zero fatalities by 2024. The only way to achieve this goal is by educating drivers and pedestrians about safe behavior, by engineering safe streets and by traffic enforcement by police officers.
Previously the City designated two intersections in North Beach as Ahigh injury intersections.@ They were Taylor and North Point Streets and Beach at Hyde Street. The City has designated a number of streets in the Western Addition, Bayview and Hayes Valley as dangerous intersections where pedestrians should be super careful when crossing the street.
Pedestrian fatalities are increasing on streets and at intersections in many California cities and counties. Since more drivers appear to be driving too fast, pedestrians must not assume it will be safe to cross a street, even when there are no vehicles close enough to be considered a hazard. Full attention must be given to be on the watch for traffic, even when the pedestrian has a valid walk sign. Never be distracted by a cell phone or conversation while in the process of crossing a street.
Provided by Attorney Lew Van Blois, accident attorney for injured pedestrians in the Bay Area and Central Valley.