In California, both pedestrians and drivers have a “duty of care” that they must uphold in order to keep pedestrians safe in areas where there is co-mingling between the two groups. But what does duty of care mean? How does it apply to drivers in specific?

For a driver, their duty of care involves how they behave on the road and how said behavior can potentially affect pedestrians sharing the roads with them. They must exercise “reasonable care” in all circumstances. Failure to do so can be considered an act of negligence and it may put the responsibility of a crash onto the driver rather than the pedestrian.

There are certain actions that can be considered negligent and that may increase a driver’s liability for a pedestrian-related crash. This can include behaviors they display or actions they are engaged in, such as distracted driving, speeding, or driving under the influence. A few other examples include:

  • Disobeying traffic signals and signs
  • Failing to signal while turning
  • Disregarding traffic or weather conditions
  • Failing to yield at crosswalks or give right of way to the pedestrians

Most areas of incidents between drivers and pedestrians occur at crosswalks. For this reason, it is important for drivers to take extra care when they enter these dangerous areas with high levels of mingling between vehicles and stick to their duty of care.

If you are considering reading more about pedestrian accidents and how they can be caused, along with other information related to these events, consider taking a look at our web page on the same topic.