Each year, hundreds of pedestrians are injured across Fresno. In fact, in a recent report conducted by the California Office of Traffic Safety, it was found that in 2019 alone, 440 pedestrians were injured in Fresno County. Based on fatalities, Fresno ranks as the 10th deadliest city in the country for pedestrians.
The nature of pedestrian accidents will vary, but one thing remains true: nearly all accidents are avoidable. Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains that the leading cause of pedestrian injuries (and fatalities) in the United States is motor vehicle collisions. A wide range of other factors can also contribute to accidents, but more than anything, reckless driving contributes to pedestrian accidents.
Zoom out to national averages, and the stakes become even higher. In 2020, approximately 55,000 pedestrians were injured nationwide, and 6,516 pedestrians were killed. That means one pedestrian is killed every 81 minutes in the U.S.
Learning how to stay safe as a pedestrian — and a driver — is important in every community. Read on to learn what you need to know about pedestrian safety in Fresno.
Is Fresno a Walkable Community?
According to Walk Score, a site that measures the walkability of cities and neighborhoods, Fresno currently has an overall ‘walk score’ of 47 out of 100. That puts it well behind top-scoring cities like San Francisco, but Fresno also has its own fair share of bragging rights as the 25th most-walkable large city in the U.S.
Fresno has some highly walkable areas across the county despite not generally being considered a genuinely “walkable” community. Instead, it’s seen as a largely car-dependent city, with walkable areas separated like islands between hard-to-cross roadways.
The walkability of an area depends on a few key factors, such as basic pedestrian infrastructure, street design, and ease of access to amenities. Some neighborhoods boast well-designed sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes, but most areas in Fresno lack these features. As a result, the majority of the city can often be difficult — if not outright dangerous — for pedestrians to navigate.
What Areas in Fresno Are Particularly Dangerous for Pedestrians?
Like any city, pedestrian accidents in Fresno often happen in a few key areas. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration again warns that pedestrian accidents are always more likely to occur in urban areas, areas without clearly marked intersections, and spaces with high traffic volumes or faster speed limits.
In urban areas, pedestrian accidents are more likely to occur at crosswalks and intersections, especially in areas with heavy foot traffic and vehicle congestion. Other areas, like mid-block crossings or highway crossings, may also see pedestrian accidents due to factors like low visibility or distracted driving. These kinds of accidents are more likely to happen at night, particularly in areas with poor lighting.
10 Safety Tips for Pedestrians in Fresno
In every city, there are a few key tips pedestrians should live by. Here are our top 10 safety tips for pedestrians in Fresno:
- Use designated crosswalks: Always use marked crosswalks or pedestrian bridges when crossing the street. Do not cross the street in the middle of a block or between parked cars.
- Look both ways: Look left, right, and left again before crossing the street. Continue to look for oncoming traffic while crossing.
- Avoid distractions: Avoid using your phone or other electronic devices while walking. Keep your focus on your surroundings.
- Wear visible clothing: Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing, particularly at night or in low-light conditions, to make yourself more visible to drivers.
- Walk on sidewalks: Walk on the sidewalk when one is available. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
- Follow traffic signals: Obey traffic signals and signs, including “Walk/Don’t Walk” signals at crosswalks.
- Be alert: Be aware of your surroundings, and watch for cars backing out of driveways or turning onto the street.
- Walk defensively: Assume that drivers do not see you, and be prepared to take evasive action if necessary.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs: Do not walk while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as these can impair your judgment and reaction time.
- Teach children pedestrian safety: Teach children pedestrian safety rules, and supervise them closely when walking near traffic.
5 Pedestrian Safety Tips for Drivers
Keep in mind that the onus is not just on the pedestrians themselves! With vehicular accidents accounting for most pedestrian accidents across the United States, it’s important to stay alert while driving and always ensure you’re doing what you can to protect pedestrians as a driver.
Here are five easy tips every driver can follow to help keep pedestrians safe:
- Yield to pedestrians: Always yield to pedestrians at crosswalks, whether they have the right-of-way or not. Additionally, be prepared to stop for pedestrians at any time, particularly in areas with heavy foot traffic.
- Watch for pedestrians: Stay alert for pedestrians, and be extra careful in areas with poor visibility. Scan the road ahead and check your blind spots frequently.
- Avoid distractions: Avoid using your phone or other electronic devices while driving, and always keep your focus on the road and your surroundings.
- Observe speed limits: Observe posted speed limits, and slow down in areas where you know people are walking around, especially in residential areas or near schools.
- Be patient: Be patient with pedestrians, and avoid driving aggressively. Honking or swerving can alarm pedestrians. Importantly, remember that pedestrians have the right to use the road and that their safety is just as important as your own.
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Involved in a Pedestrian Accident in Fresno?
First things first: make sure to seek immediate medical attention, even if you don’t feel hurt. Call 911 and request an ambulance if you are concerned you might have serious injuries. If possible, you’ll also want to exchange information with the driver, cyclist, or other party involved in your accident. Even if you need to rush off to the hospital, make sure to have a friend or witness take the other party’s information.
If you can, do your best to document the scene and make sure to contact the police and report the accident if you haven’t already done so at the scene, especially if the driver who hit you fled. If you want to proceed with any sort of injury claim to seek compensation for your medical bills and other damages, you’ll need to gather as much evidence as possible. Filing a police report will make seeking a claim against at-fault parties all the easier.
Soon after you receive treatment and report the incident, contact a qualified Fresno pedestrian accident attorney. They can help you examine your options for seeking compensation, even up to the point of helping you try to identify hit-and-run drivers.
Securing reputable legal representation will make the injury claim process so much smoother, especially if you’re nursing significant injuries or handling expenses during this time. Don’t hesitate to call Singh Ahluwalia, Attorneys at Law, today. Your best interests will be looked after by a caring, compassionate, and dedicated Fresno pedestrian accident lawyer. Importantly, your case won’t cost you anything upfront when you form a contingency agreement, and you won’t pay anything if we are unable to secure compensation for you.
Schedule your free, confidential first appointment via phone at (559) 878-4958 or by contacting us online to find out how much your case may be worth.