Although fuel costs have gone down substantially over the last few years, people still continue to choose walking over driving in suburban and urban areas. While statistically speaking, pedestrians are much less likely to be involved in a fatal or near fatal accident, there is always a possibly that a vehicle can strike a pedestrian.

In Van Nuys, California, a 57-year old woman was struck by a vehicle on a Sunday night near midnight. The driver was an 18 year old young man. He struck the lady as she was crossing the street, and she died on the scene. The driver fled, but later on turned himself in. He is now facing felony hit and run charges.

While this type of incident shouldn’t happen to anyone, they happen more frequently than you would think. According to statistics, the state of California has the highest amount of pedestrians killed by vehicles. Out of the 4700+ pedestrians who died countrywide in 2013, for example, 700 were killed in California. This of course, does not include all of the people who were hit by a vehicle and survived.

While it is not always the driver’s fault for hitting a pedestrian, a statistical majority of these incidents are. A lot of these accidents are caused by drivers not respecting pedestrian cross walks at intersections, not paying attention to street signals, and in some cases driving up onto the curb.

Being a pedestrian unfortunately makes you vulnerable no matter how much care you take to watch out for vehicles. Of course, there are things you can do to lower your risk, like avoid talking or texting on your phone so you can keep an eye and ear out for vehicles. And although it makes recreational walks much more interesting, wearing headphones can make it a lot harder to hear cars coming towards you. Also, if you see someone driving dangerously through a residential or urban area, call the police and report them immediately. Doing this can help prevent some of these unfortunate accidents.

If you or a loved one has been hit by a car as a pedestrian, it is crucial to seek counsel immediately. An experienced attorney can help you understand what legal options you have available to you.