An elderly female pedestrian died over the weekend after she was hit by a vehicle in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The accident occurred near the intersection of Stockton and Sacramento streets, near the Stockton Street Tunnel. The driver, aged 40, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and failing to yield to a pedestrian.
The police are currently investigating the circumstances that led up to the crash. Police are investigating to see what signal lights were green and whether or not the pedestrian had the right of way. The elderly woman was in the crosswalk when the accident occurred, and was heading to a senior center. Her daughter-in-law worried about the woman crossing the dangerous streets, and had warned the accident victim many times about watching for cars while crossing the street.
The owner of a business near where the accident occurred said the intersection is extremely dangerous, and that he had seen six to eight people get killed in the same spot over the years. He says he has warned the city about the problem multiple times, but no actions have yet been taken.
The area in which the accident occurred is one of eight corridors in San Francisco with the highest rates of injuries and fatalities. Currently, a multi-agency plan has been established to reduce pedestrian dangers, called Vision Zero. Vision Zero’s goal is to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths to zero by the year 2024.
Unfortunately, every year in San Francisco, around 100 pedestrians are seriously killed or injured while walking. Another 800 are injured. Senior citizens are especially vulnerable – they are five times as likely as younger adults to be fatally injured from pedestrian accidents.
One reason that San Francisco is so prone to pedestrian accidents is that we have so many pedestrians. For 17 percent of all trips in San Francisco, walking is the primary mode of transportation. In most pedestrian accidents, motorists are at fault. The biggest reason for pedestrian accidents is a failure to yield. Left turns are often involved too – in about 28 percent of pedestrian accidents, left turns occurred immediately preceding the accident. Speed is also a huge factor in whether a person is seriously injured or killed in a pedestrian accident. In pedestrian accidents in which the vehicles involved are going 40 miles per hour or faster, 50 percent of the pedestrians are killed. That number drops to 10 percent when the vehicle is going 25 miles per hour or less.
Pedestrian accidents in San Francisco are clustered in specific areas. About six percent of the streets account for 60 percent of the severe and fatal injuries to pedestrians. Most of these streets are located in SoMa, North Beach, or the Tenderloin. Officials are working to initiate quick improvements in those areas, including speed humps, protected left turns and pedestrian islands.
If you are a pedestrian in San Francisco, there are a few steps you should take to keep yourself safe while walking. If possible, avoid the most risky streets, even if it means walking a few blocks out of your way. Make yourself visible to drivers, and don’t assume that they see you, even if you should be visible. So many drivers now are talking or texting that even if they should see you, they may not. Don’t walk on busy streets if you have been drinking – instead, call a cab.
At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that people who have been injured in pedestrian accidents should stand up for their legal rights. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in the San Francisco area, call Micha Star Liberty, San Francisco personal injury attorney, at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000. You may have a claim against not only the driver who injured you, but also possibly the city, if the accident occurred at a dangerous intersection in which they were aware of the dangers. Call today to schedule your free consultation.