Pedestrian Accidents Continue to Plague San Francisco Streets

Before crossing San Francisco's dangerous streets, it's a good idea to look not once, but twice, in both directions. San Francisco has one of the highest pedestrian accident rates in the country. There are more pedestrian collisions in the city per capita than New York City. It has been reported that at least 800 people are hit by cars in San Francisco each year. That amounts to two or three people per day.

The problem is that San Francisco's streets are designed for the rapid movement of cars, not the safety of pedestrians. The intersection of Market and 6th streets is one of the most dangerous spots -- especially during rush hour. The Tenderloin and Chinatown are also very dangerous. There are nearly three times the number of accidents in those neighborhoods compared to the rest of the city. The neighborhoods are very dense, due in large part to single room occupancy hotels and senior housing. The living spaces are small, so people head outside. Many also do not own cars, so they walk everywhere.

Injury and death from these pedestrian accidents continue to be ongoing problems for the Bay Area. A pedestrian involved in such an accident may be entitled to recover compensation from the negligent party. In order to recover damages, the pedestrian must be able to demonstrate he or she suffered harm or injury as a result of the accident. It is important to keep in mind that both drivers and pedestrians have a duty to exercise reasonable care and adhere to the rules of the road.

San Francisco is working with groups like WalkSF to make the city streets safer for its pedestrians. There are simple things the city can do to improve pedestrian safety, such as brightly painting crosswalks, extending sidewalk corners and eliminating one-way streets. A good example is Valencia Street, where many of these changes have been made.

Despite these efforts, the city still has a long way to go to make its city streets safer for pedestrians. People continue to suffer injuries daily as a result of these accidents.

Source: KALW.org, "Look both ways, twice, when crossing San Francisco's streets," Casey Miner, Sept. 18, 2012

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