Rancho Cucamonga pedestrian crosswalk. Accidents increase with shadows during low light conditions.

Dangers of Crosswalk Accidents During the Winter

Dangerous sidewalks and crosswalks are a problem in communities in Rancho Cucamonga and throughout San Bernardino County. If crosswalks are poorly designed or placed at inopportune locations, they become more difficult for pedestrians to cross safely. Crosswalk accidents are especially prevalent during the wintertime because of inclement weather, increased traffic, and other factors.

Pedestrian accidents at crosswalks are most often caused by some type of negligence on the part of the motorist whose vehicle struck the pedestrian. However, there are some instances in which the person crossing also shares some responsibility for the accident. 

If you or someone close to you has been hurt in a pedestrian accident at a crosswalk, it is important to speak with an experienced crosswalk accident attorney to discuss your legal rights and options. Pedestrian crashes often result in severe and sometimes catastrophic injuries, and injury victims who are in this situation may be entitled to significant compensation. A seasoned attorney from Muhareb Law Group will be able to advise you on what to expect in your case.

Why Crosswalks Can Be Hazardous for Pedestrians

Many Rancho Cucamonga residents assume they are secure when they cross the street at a crosswalk, but that is not necessarily the case. In fact, many of the crosswalks in Southern California have problems that make them dangerous for pedestrians. Here are some examples:

Crosswalk Design Flaws

Crosswalks are often poorly designed, failing to take into account the area surrounding the crosswalk, the environment in that area, topography, and other issues. For example, if you build a crosswalk on a street with a sharp downward slope, you need to have strong speed control measures in place to ensure that motorists are forced to slow down as they approach the intersection.

Poor Visibility at Crosswalks

Some crosswalks are built in places where there is inadequate visibility for pedestrians. For example, at some intersections, pedestrian sightlines are blocked by tall buildings, overgrown trees, large road signs, and other imposing objects. Some crosswalks also have poor lighting, making it more difficult for pedestrians to cross after dark.

Faulty Traffic Control Signals

Pedestrians who regularly use various crosswalks will come to depend on the accuracy of the traffic signals in order to safely cross. For example, when they see the “walk” signal, they should be confident that there is a clear red light instructing oncoming traffic to stop. Unfortunately, not all stoplights are adequately maintained, and when they contain defects, there is a much stronger likelihood of crosswalk accidents occurring.

Inadequate Traffic Control Measures

Some crosswalks should have additional traffic control measures in place to ensure safe pedestrian crossing. This is particularly true with roadways that are frequently exposed to high traffic and speedy motorists, and also at crosswalks where children regularly cross. Intersections like these should have a crossing guard during busy times of the day to ensure that pedestrians can cross safely.

Residents of Rancho Cucamonga who have school-age children have been clamoring for crossing guards to ensure that their kids stay safe. Here are just a few of the comments from a Facebook post the city made on traffic safety to kick off the school year in August 2021:

This is what’s going on at Banyan Elementary with no crossing guard, cars in crosswalk making it unsafe for our kids to cross!

Can a stop sign be put on the corner of Hellman and Palo Alto St. it is so dangerous to cross or turn left on that street? Especially during school let out time. Also it is very hard to see traffic coming from the north…

Our elementary school-aged children need a crossing guard at Banyan Elementary. There was absolute chaos and traffic backed up all around Banyan Elementary School today.

If you really cared about traffic safety you would put crossing guards at every school as soon as possible why aren’t there crossing guards at every school this is a very very very rich city what’s the problem?

Crosswalk Dangers During the Winter Months

The problems with Southern California crosswalks are only exacerbated during the winter months. With school in session, there is the ongoing concern that we see in Rancho Cucamonga and other communities that the children are kept safe when they cross the roads. Adding to this concern, traffic is heavier with all of the buses on the road and people commuting to and from work.

Winter weather complicates things even further for pedestrians at crosswalks. For example, heavier rain during this season makes the sidewalks and crosswalks slippery; and sometimes, they become icy on the rare occasion that temperatures drop below freezing. When you add in fog, you create visibility problems for both pedestrians and motorists, making a crosswalk accident more likely.

Rancho Cucamonga pedestrians are no strangers to high winds during the winter months as well. Heavy wind gusts can cause walkers to lose their balance at a crosswalk, which creates another danger that motorists need to look out for. And every once in a while, this area might see some snow, which makes it very slippery on sidewalks and crosswalks.

Liability for Rancho Cucamonga Crosswalk Accidents

As we touched on earlier, a large number of pedestrian crashes at crosswalks are caused by driver negligence. This may include distracted driving (e.g., texting on your phone), speeding and other forms of reckless driving, drunk driving, and drowsy driving. Pedestrians could also share some fault in a crosswalk accident if they enter the intersection before they receive a “walk” signal, for example.

In many cases, there will be shared liability, meaning that multiple parties played a role in causing the crosswalk accident. For example, it could be determined that the driver was 80% at fault and the pedestrian was 20% at fault. In some limited cases, the government could also have some responsibility if it can be shown that they failed to remedy a crosswalk that was known to be dangerous.

When there is shared liability for a crosswalk accident between a motorist and a pedestrian, California’s pure comparative negligence laws come into play. Under this legal standard, an injured pedestrian can still recover compensation even if they share some responsibility for the accident. However, their compensation is reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault that they share.

Using the prior example of the motorist being 80% at fault and the pedestrian being 20% at fault, if the pedestrian sustains $200,000 in total losses from their injuries, their damage award would be reduced by 20% down to $160,000. 

Insurance companies are known for trying to pin some of the blame for pedestrian accidents on injury victims, so they can reduce the amount of compensation that they have to pay on behalf of their insureds. This is why it is so important to be represented by a skilled and knowledgeable crosswalk accident lawyer.

Injured in a Crosswalk Accident in Rancho Cucamonga? Contact the Muhareb Law Group for Legal Help 

Crosswalk crashes can result in serious injuries for pedestrians, and if this has happened to you, you need strong legal counsel by your side advocating aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve. For crosswalk accident injuries in Rancho Cucamonga and surrounding areas, contact Muhareb Law Group for assistance. Call us today at (909) 519-5832 or message us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.