The California Department of Motor Vehicles offers advice along with laws and regulations to drivers in the state. Some of this centers around the relationship between drivers and pedestrians, as these types of accidents are both common and potentially deadly. Almost a quarter (22 percent) of the deadly crashes in California are from these types of incidents.
The first thing to note is that drivers should always give pedestrians the right of way when they are at crosswalks. The DMV notes that not all crosswalks are the same. For instance, some have painted lines and others do not, but drivers have to be careful in either situation.
Similarly, the DVM tells drivers not to go around other cars and trucks that are stopped in the road, respecting a crosswalk. Even when you do not see anyone crossing the street, he or she could be out of your field of vision, blocked by the other vehicle.
Drivers are also asked not to stop in such a way that they block a crosswalk. This can make it impossible for pedestrians to safely cross the road. They may try dangerous tactics like weaving through traffic or crossing at an unmarked area.
Finally, drivers are told to watch pedestrians, specifically looking to see if they make eye contact. People generally do this before crossing, so it can be a sign to you that you need to yield to them.
People who have been injured by vehicles or the family members of those who have been killed in these accidents need to make sure that they fully understand their rights to financial compensation.
Source: California DMV, “California Driver Handbook – Laws and Rules of the Road” Oct. 27, 2014