Man in Wheelchair Killed in Southern California Traffic Collision

February 9, 2013,

Officers are on the hunt for a driver involved in a hit-and-run accident with a man in a wheelchair.
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According to the Los Angeles Times, the accident happened just before 4:00 a.m. on Whittier Boulevard. The handicapped victim died at the scene. If you have any information, contact Deputy Jose Marquez at (562) 949-2421.

Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys understand that California Vehicle Code Section 21950 offers protection for pedestrians or bicyclists in both unmarked and marked crosswalks. This also counts for those traveling in wheelchairs. Unfortunately, there are many travelers who are confused by these terms. Many might understand what a marked crosswalk is, but there are many more who don't understand when it comes to an unmarked crosswalk.

An unmarked crosswalk is defined as an area where a sidewalk or another clearly defined walking path continues through a street. This exists whether or not there are markings on the ground or there are signals present in the area. In this case, almost all intersections can be considered to have unmarked crosswalks.

For the safety of everyone, drivers are asked to consider any and all intersections to have crosswalks and yield to travelers passing through -- whether they're on foot, on a bicycle or in a wheelchair. Regardless of if there are signals or not, drivers should always yield and offer the right of way to these more vulnerable travelers.

A wheelchair may be motorized and have wheels, but along our roadways it still counts as a pedestrian. And these "pedestrians" require some special treatment.

Drivers: When approaching an intersection, be sure to look in all directions for oncoming traffic. This includes other vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians and those in wheelchairs. We have to remember that different types of traffic travels at different speeds and in different ways. If you observe someone in a wheelchair attempting to cross the road, be courteous and patient. You never want to hurry these individuals across. They can only travel so fast. It's also important that you never honk your horn at them as it may startle them.

When allowing a pedestrian or someone in a wheelchair to cross in front of your vehicle, make sure that they've made their way completely across the road before you proceed. You want to make sure that they've made it safely.

When driving at night, you need to be on your very best behavior. These vulnerable travelers are oftentimes overlooked on our roadways. Make sure you take that extra second to actually look for these travelers.

If you're out traveling in a wheelchair, we urge you to stay away from busy roadways. If there's no way to avoid these areas, you're asked to remain one move ahead of the traffic around you. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street in front of them. Wear bright clothing to help to ensure they see you.

If your or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact HOWARD LAW P.C. to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call (800) 872-5925 today!

More Blog Entries:

Hybrid Cars Increasing Accident Risks in Southern California, California Injury Lawyers Blog, January 12, 2013

L.A. Pedestrians Need to Keep Focus on Negligent Drivers, California Injury Lawyers Blog, September 23, 2012