Pedestrian Crossing

Pedestrian Crossing SignThis creative story is completely fictional. However, the scenarios and emotions represented in this piece are common in the Sherman Oaks, California area, as well as the state as a whole. The story takes the reader through the emotional and physical timeline of pedestrian accidents. Reading this story will help readers identify with this, unfortunately common occurrence.

The sun was long gone and their stomachs began to growl as they rounded out the fourth hour spent in front of the TV. These boys had spent the whole evening fighting off zombies at the ease of a few colorful buttons.

“My thumb is sore anyway,” Christian frustratingly said to the other two boys as he dropped the Xbox controller. “Do you guys want to grab some food?” No one was hesitant to this idea. The three boys jumped up and headed to the stairs.

“Whoa!” Christian exclaimed as he looked at the clock—11:30 pm. “I didn’t realize how long we had been down here!” The boys had entered Christian’s basement when the sun was still high in the sky. “I am not sure my parents will be awake. We should be quiet.”

As they quietly made their way up the stairs and into the kitchen, the growls of their stomachs began to seem louder than ever before. In order to not wake his parents, Christian left the lights off. As they were exploring their meal options, there was a loud noise from behind. Christian turned around to see one of his friends embarrassingly staring back at him, a box of macaroni and cheese at his feet. Suddenly, the lights from the top of the stairs turned on.

“Christian, honey, is everything okay down there?” Christian shot a mean look at his friends, followed by a reassurance to his mother that they would head to bed soon. “Just please try and be quiet, your father and I are trying to sleep,” the boys heard from the top of the stairs. As they continued to look for food, Christian came to a conclusion—there was nothing that they could make without using the noisy microwave. He explained to his friends that using the microwave would wake his parents up again, so they were out of options.

They headed back down to the basement, and as their stomachs continued to growl, his friends continued to complain.

“Let’s just go get something to eat somewhere else,” one of the boys suggested, but Christian shut him down, explaining that his parents wouldn’t be okay with them leaving, and even if they did, they didn’t have a car to drive.

Christian had a very close relationship with his parents and had only been in trouble a few times in his 15 years. It was because of this relationship that it took his friends so long to convince him to sneak out. As they tiptoed through the kitchen and to the back door, Christian glanced upstairs, thinking about how disappointed his mother would be if they were caught. Then, he reluctantly slid through the cracked back door and closed it silently behind him.

They were headed to the In-n-Out Burger at The Plant. As the clock ticked closer to 1 am, they knew that they had to hurry. Christian had walked to The Plant before, but never in the dark. That is why when he got to the pedestrian crossing on Van Nuys Boulevard, he wasn’t sure how they were supposed to cross. The boys stood at the edge of the street for what felt like eternity, although it was actually only about thirty seconds. The boys began to get antsy about crossing the busy street. Christian checked his watch—12:47 am—they were running out of time, and after all, Christian and his conscience just wanted to get back home.

***

As Christian opened his eyes, all he could manage to focus on were the bright lights above him. He tried to remember what happened, but the only thing that came to mind was checking his watch. His senses began to come back to him and he could hear his mother crying. Looking around, he could see that he was in a hospital room, and that his mother and father were with him, holding his hands. As the confusion began to subside, the memories started to come back. He and his friends had gotten impatient. He and his friends thought that the cars would stop.


While this story is fictional, the pain that Christian was feeling, and the emotions that his parents were experiencing are not. Pedestrian accidents are all too common, and they can occur for a variety of different reasons.

In a 2013 study by the U.S. Department of Transportation, California had the most pedestrian accidents out of the entire country. Christian’s situation is a perfect example of the common scenarios in which these accidents can occur. According to this same study, the specifics of the story mentioned above fall into the majority of all of the most common conditions for these types of accidents.

Just as Christian’s accident happened at night, 70% of pedestrian accidents happen at nighttime. 90% are single vehicle crashes, with 89% occurring in normal weather conditions. 70% of these accidents occurred in non-intersections, and 73% occurred in an urban setting. So while the story told above may be fabricated, it represents a very high number of real occurrences.

According to the same study by the U.S. Department of Transportation, a pedestrian is killed in the United States every two hours and injured every seven minutes due to pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents. And with California leading those statistics, this is not something to be overlooked. Too many people have found themselves in position of Christian or his parents.

At Drake Law Firm, we are here to help you if you have unfortunately found yourself in this type of situation. We support families every day after someone has been injured. We care about you throughout the entire process, keeping a very high emphasis on the outcome for your family. While many people have a family doctor, you can consider us your “family lawyer.”

If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident in California, do not hesitate to contact us. We have offices in Sherman Oaks as well as San Francisco. This story may have been fictional, but we help people who have found themselves in this situation, so please reach out. We want to help you and your family.