Bring An Equalizer to the Fight. Choose a Firm That Was Created to Advocate for Victims.

Designing Safer California Roadways for Pedestrians and Bicyclists

While most serious car crashes are caused by negligent drivers, sometimes the road itself may be to blame. Many California roadways were designed decades ago and fail to account for an increase in vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. In fact, pedestrians and cyclists are killed or seriously injured in California at much higher rates than car drivers or passengers, largely due to a lack of safe walking and bicycling infrastructure on major roadways across the state.

To help make our roads safer, several California lawmakers have introduced legislation that would make several important policy changes to the way the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) approaches road construction and redesign projects.

Under Senate Bill 760, the California Transportation Commission must give high priority to increasing safety for pedestrians and bicyclists and to the implementation of bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The Commission would also be required to adopt performance measures that include conditions of bicycle and pedestrian facilities, accessibility and safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users, and vehicle miles traveled on the state highway system. Starting in 2020, the proposed law would also require Caltrans to include new pedestrian and bicycle facilities or improve existing facilities when undertaking any state-funded capital improvement project on a state highway or a local street crossing a state highway.

“Although Caltrans has made some improvements in terms of its consciousness of the need to improve conditions for all users, it still has a long way to go,” said co-sponsor Senator Scott Wiener. “At times it is still focused on a mindset of streets existing solely to move through as many cars as possible.” Several safety and health advocates publicly support the bill, including the California Bicycle Coalition, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, California Walks, and the American Heart Association.

California Road Defect Claims

When accidents routinely occur on the same stretch of road or at the same intersection, the road construction or design may be to blame. For example, the design of the road may not provide enough time for road users to process and react to information, such as a blind corner. Similarly, poor drainage and water pooling can cause drivers to hydroplane and lose control of their vehicle.

When poorly designed, constructed or maintained California roadways lead to auto accidents, victims can pursue an injury lawsuit, even if another vehicle was not involved. The responsible parties in a road defect claim often include federal, state and local government entities tasked with maintaining the road.

If you or someone you care about has suffered serious injury in a California motor vehicle crash, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.