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WalkFirst – San Francisco’s Pedestrian Safety Initiative

The San Francisco WalkFirst safety initiative from Mayor Ed Lee was instituted to help decrease the instances of pedestrian injuries.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee Announces WalkFirst Safety Initiative

In an effort to make the city safer for pedestrians, former San Francisco mayor Ed Lee announced a safety initiative known as WalkFirst in 2010. The program involves pedestrian capital improvement projects, education, and enforcement efforts, and includes the involvement of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), the San Francisco Police Department, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Public Works, and the Controller’s Office. According to a press release issued by the Office of the Mayor, WalkFirst combines public engagement and statistical analysis to identify the areas of the city that are most dangerous for pedestrians.

Some of the statistics highlighted by the program include the following:

  • Motorists are at fault in pedestrian accidents twice as often as pedestrians (64 percent and 34 percent, respectively, with the remainder unreported)
  • Walking is the primary mode of transportation for 17 percent of trips taken in San Francisco
  • At least 800 San Francisco pedestrians are injured each year
  • Left turn accidents disproportionately contribute to pedestrian injuries
  • Health-related medical costs associated with pedestrian accidents exceed $564 million per year

San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Injuries

When we are on foot we are particularly vulnerable to injuries in the event of an accident. Pedestrian injuries are a serious public health issue in major metropolitan areas such as San Francisco, and data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), show that approximately 70,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic accidents in 2011 alone. When pedestrian accidents occur as a result of driver negligence, victims may be able to recover for their losses by filing a California personal injury claim.

Pedestrian Accidents Often Cause Serious Injuries

In the most serious cases, the accidents that pedestrians sustain can result in long-term medical complications or even the inability to live independently. Other injuries seem to heal, but leave lifelong impairment or residual symptoms, which are not readily apparent to others. Some of the most common injuries sustained in San Francisco pedestrian accidents can include:

  • Broken bones
  • Concussions
  • Amputations
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Fractures
  • Disfigurement
  • Spinal cords injuries
  • Scarring
  • Emotional trauma

What to Do if You’ve Been Hurt in an Accident While Walking?

If you’re in a pedestrian accident, be sure to record as much information about the incident as possible. If you are able, take photographs of the immediate aftermath of the incident. In addition, try and obtain contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the accident. Finally, anyone injured in a pedestrian accident should be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some people “tough it out” after an injury, and delay seeing a doctor, or even plowing through work or other planned activities. Insurance companies then use this stoic behavior to show that the injuries were not really so bad, and that the injured person decided later on to exaggerate the injuries.

Getting a full financial recovery for the injuries a pedestrian has, including the likely future problems, is no simple matter. Insurance companies want to close pedestrian injury claims quickly, and do not care about future effects of accidents on victims.

Even those of us who drive, take transit, or bike practically everywhere we go end up as pedestrians a good deal of the time. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are a fact of life for people living in cities like San Francisco. In the event that you are injured in one, you may be entitled to significant compensation—either from the driver, the driver’s employer, the owner of the driver’s car, or even your own car insurance policy.

Talk To San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Attorneys

Our pedestrian injury attorneys are dedicated to helping people injured by the negligence of others recover for their losses. Call our office today at 415-541-0300 to schedule a free consultation or click here to contact us online.

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