what happens if my dog bites-someone in arizona

At Negretti & Associates, as dog bite lawyers, we are often asked by friends and family what to do if their dog bites someone in Arizona — one of the states where we practice law.

While our law firm doesn’t do defense work, we thought it would be helpful to share some insights regarding Arizona dog bite law, from the perspective of the dog owner. After all, we’re dog owners, too!

What Happens If My Dog Bites Someone in Arizona?

If your dog bites someone in Arizona, there are three simple things you should do:

First and foremost, help the victim get medical attention.

Second, be prepared for a visit from animal control or your local police department. Officials may want to gather some information from you. They may also mandate that you quarantine your dog for a period of time.

Third, notify your homeowners insurance carrier of the incident. Your insurance company will take over handling the claim and even hire an attorney to defend you in the even that you get sued.

Does a Dog Have to Be Put Down If It Bites Someone in Arizona?

Not usually. Typically, dogs are not euthanized for biting someone, regardless of how devastating the injury might be.

However, if a dog has bitten multiple people and has been involved in multiple incidents, it is possible that the dog will be euthanized.

Can I Be Held Liable for My Dog Biting Someone in Arizona?

The short answer is “yes.” According to Arizona law, regardless of your dog’s dangerous propensities or lack thereof, you are responsible to someone who is bitten by your dog.

A.R.S. §11-1025, the Arizona Revised Statues law that controls dog bites, states:

The owner of a dog which bites a person when the person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of its viciousness.

There are, however, some possible defenses to dog bite claims. Provocation and trespassing are two most common. We discuss these defenses in greater detail in our article, “Dog Bite Cases: Top Three Defenses Used by Attorneys and Insurance Companies.”

Titled “Reasonable Provocation as Defense,” A.R.S. §11-1027 provides:

Proof of provocation of the attack by the person injured shall be a defense to the action for damages. The issue of provocation shall be determined by whether a reasonable person would expect that the conduct or circumstances would be likely to provoke a dog.

As for trespassing, A.R.S. §13-1502 and A.R.S. §13-1504 govern criminal trespass. Civil trespass is defined as a physical intrusion or entry upon the land or property belonging to someone else wherein causing damage to the property owner and/or his or her property.

Basically, if someone hops your fence and your dog bites that person, you may not be responsible.

Injured in a Dog Attack? Contact Negretti & Associates

If you have been injured in a dog attack, the dog bite lawyers in Arizona, California, and Colorado at Negretti & Associates can help you recover for your injuries. We know dog bite laws and are ready to help you navigate your case. You don’t have to figure things out on your own.

For a free initial review of your case, call us at (602) 531-3911 in Arizona, (619) 777-3370 in California, or (720) 636-3444 in Colorado. You can also contact us online or send us a text.

arizona dog bite law explained

Dogs are known as humankind’s best friend. But, unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Arizona recently ranked 10th in the nation in dog bite insurance claims, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

In 2021 alone, 489 insurance claims due to dog bites were paid out in the Grand Canyon State. The average cost per claim for dog bites and related injuries was $43,059. Overall, $21.1 million in claims were paid by insurers.

Whether you’re a dog owner in Arizona or you’ve been injured by a dog bite, it’s important to understand Arizona dog bite laws that govern dog bite liability in our state.

Arizona Dog Bite Law: A.R.S. §11-1025

According to Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.), regardless of the dog’s viciousness, if you are bitten by a dog, the owner of that dog is liable to you for your injuries.

The foremost Arizona dog bite law — A.R.S. §11-1025 — provides:

The owner of a dog which bites a person when the person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of its viciousness.

There are, however, some possible defenses to dog bite claims. Provocation and trespassing are two most common. We discuss these defenses in greater detail in our article, “Dog Bite Cases: Top Three Defenses Used by Attorneys and Insurance Companies.”

Titled “Reasonable Provocation as Defense,” A.R.S. §11-1027 provides:

Proof of provocation of the attack by the person injured shall be a defense to the action for damages. The issue of provocation shall be determined by whether a reasonable person would expect that the conduct or circumstances would be likely to provoke a dog.

As for trespassing, A.R.S. §13-1502 and A.R.S. §13-1504 govern criminal trespass. Civil trespass is defined as a physical intrusion or entry upon the land or property belonging to someone else wherein causing damage to the property owner or his or her property. If someone hops your fence and your dog bites that person, you may not be responsible.

Does Arizona Have a One-Bite Rule?

Arizona does not have a one-bite rule. In other words, Arizona is a “no ‘free bite’ state.” Some states allow the dog owner to get away with the dog’s first bite, but that’s not the case in Arizona.

An Arizona dog owner can be held liable for the dog’s very first bite. The dog owner cannot use the fact that their dog has never bitten anyone as a defense to your claim.

Dog bites in Arizona are considered strict liability cases. This means that if a dog bites you, the owner is responsible. Period. End of story. As mentioned above, there are a few defenses to dog bite cases, but the bite itself is the evidence needed to prove your case.

The more important reality of having a case that is considered strict liability is that your deadline to file a lawsuit is accelerated to one (1) year. If you do not resolve your case or file a lawsuit to preserve your claim within one year from the date of the bite, you may lose the right to your claim.

Injured by a Dog Bite in Arizona? Contact Negretti & Associates

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite in Arizona, contact the personal injury attorneys at Negretti & Associates to schedule a free case review today.

Our dog bite attorneys in Arizona know Arizona dog bite laws and are ready to help you navigate your case. You don’t have to figure things out on your own. For a free initial review of your case, call us at (602) 531-3911 in Arizona, (619) 777-3370 in California, or (720) 636-3444 in Colorado. You can also contact us online or send us a text.

minimum auto insurance california arizona colorado

If you’re shopping for car insurance, and you’re trying to decide how much insurance to carry, you’ve probably encountered discussions about minimum auto insurance. This is the very least amount of coverage that you need to have on your policy, as required by state laws, which vary from state to state.

To explore some examples of state requirements, in this article we’ll look at minimum auto insurance in California, Arizona, and Colorado.

Minimum Auto Insurance in California

Under California law, the minimum liability insurance requirements for private passenger vehicles are:

  • $15,000 per person for bodily injury or death
  • $30,000 per accident for two or more persons’ injuries or death, and
  • $5,000 for property damage

The three amounts are known as “split limits,” and are generally broken down in the following fashion: 15/30/5. These numbers indicate the maximum amount that your carrier will pay out for each category of coverage.

The first amount, for bodily injury or death liability, covers costs if you are involved in an accident in which you are considered at fault and must pay an individual victim’s medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering damages.

The second amount, for bodily injury or death liability, is to cover the costs for all people involved in the accident.

The third amount is for the damage that you have caused to someone’s property.

Minimum Auto Insurance in Arizona

Under Arizona law, drivers must carry liability insurance with at least the following amounts of coverage:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury or death
  • $50,000 per accident for two or more persons’ injuries or death, and
  • $15,000 for property damage

Arizona’s state-mandated minimums for car insurance were increased on July 1, 2020.

Minimum Auto Insurance in Colorado

For motor vehicles, Colorado law requires the following minimum amount of liability insurance:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $50,000 per accident for two or more persons’ injuries or death, and
  • $15,000 per accident for property damage

California, Arizona, and Colorado Are “Tort States”

Despite the differences in minimum auto insurance in California, Arizona, and Colorado, these states all function under a traditional “tort” or “fault” automobile insurance model. In other words, if you cause an accident in California, Arizona, and Colorado, you must pay for any damage you’ve caused. For this reason, drivers must carry liability insurance to cover injuries to others and damages to others’ cars and property.

Drivers who are involved in a vehicle accident in which they sustained injuries, or property damage, may:

  1. File a claim with the at-fault driver’s automobile insurance company, or
  2. File a personal injury lawsuit in court seeking damages from the at-fault driver, or
  3. File a claim with your own automobile insurance company (if coverage allows for a claim to pursued against your own insurance company)

Although drivers must legally carry automobile insurance on their vehicles at all times, it is frightening to think how many people do not carry automobile insurance. A study by the Insurance Research Council found that one in eight drivers are uninsured.

Why You Should Buy More than State-Minimum Insurance

At Negretti & Associates, we recommend carrying as much underinsured and uninsured coverage as you carry in liability coverage.

We also recommend carrying a bit of medical payment or personal injury protection coverage. But don’t overdo it with this coverage type.

As for liability coverage, ask yourself, “How much coverage should I have to protect myself personally if I caused a crash?” Think about liability coverage as a way to protect you and your family in the event that you cause a crash.

For more context, please see our article “State-Minimum Car Insurance Is Not Enough,” where we write, “When considering how much car insurance to purchase, start your analysis by asking yourself how much insurance you would want to carry so that you wouldn’t have to write a check from your personal bank account to pay for damages.”

Remember, if you have state-minimum car insurance and are judged to be at fault in an accident, you may be expected to pay out of your own pocket to cover the difference between your insurance and the other driver’s actual expenses.

California’s minimum requirement of $5,000 for property damage coverage is extremely low. It’s hard to find a fully functioning replacement vehicle for less than $5,000. Even a small fender-bender can cost far more than $5,000 to repair.

In neighboring Arizona, the required $15,000 state-minimum property damage liability coverage does not stretch far. Used cars are more expensive than ever, and many cars on the road have values surpassing $15,000. State-minimum insurance often does not account for loss of use and diminished value.

In the final analysis, purchasing state-minimum car insurance means that you’re complying with law, but you’re still left with a bare minimum of financial protection. An attorney or a person injured in the accident could look to you to personally contribute toward resolving a claim. The other driver can sue you, seize your assets, and have your wages garnished.

As you shop for car insurance, explore your options. Think about what kind of coverages you would want in the event that you had to tap into your liability coverage. Try to find ways of covering yourself well above state-minimum limits. Don’t wait for a bad outcome to happen and wish later that you had an adequate amount of coverage.

difference between uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage

What is the difference between uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage?

  • Uninsured motorist coverage (“UM”) is designed to protect drivers and passengers if the at-fault driver in an accident does not carry automobile liability insurance coverage.
  • Underinsured motorist coverage (“UIM”) is designed to protect drivers and passengers if the at-fault driver has insufficient automobile liability insurance coverage to pay for your injuries.

Both coverages have the letter “U” in them. That means they cover “you” in the event of a motor vehicle crash.

How does uninsured motorist coverage work? UM coverage protects you in the event that you are one of the unlucky crash victims who was hit by somebody without insurance. It may hard to believe, but there are 28 million uninsured drivers in the U.S. That equates to 1 out of every 8 drivers on the roadway.

How does underinsured motorist coverage work? With UIM coverage, if you’re in a motor vehicle crash and you sustain $50,000 in damages due to your injuries, but the at-fault driver only has the minimum $25,000 bodily injury coverage, your UIM coverage will bridge the financial gap. In other words, your own insurance company will make up the difference.

UM and UIM Coverage in California, Arizona, and Colorado

In Arizona, Colorado and California, UM and UIM coverages are optional. You have to proactively purchase these coverages. They are not made mandatory by law.

Each state has its requirements with regard to UM and UIM. It’s important to understand your rights when purchasing automobile insurance coverage.

Arizona law states that every insurer writing a motor vehicle liability policy must offer, in writing, UM and UIM to their insureds in an amount equal to the insured’s liability coverage. If the insureds reject this coverage, insurers must prove compliance with the statute by having their insureds sign a Department of Insurance-approved form that indicates selection or rejection of such coverage.

Colorado law states it is mandatory that the insurance provider offer collision, medical-payments, and uninsured-motorist coverage. Such coverage may only be rejected by the insured in writing.

California law requires insurers to include UM and UIM in automobile policies, unless the insurer and insured execute a written waiver in a specific format that is laid out in California law. If the insured does not sign the three-page waiver, UM and UIM are made part of the insurance policy.

Please note: It is illegal for an insurance company to raise your insurance premiums if you use your own coverages when you are not at-fault for a motor vehicle crash. Check out Arizona Revised Statutes §20-263 to read the law.

Protection Provided by UM and UIM Far Exceeds the Costs

Now that you know the difference between uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage, should you buy these coverages?

Typically, the costs of UM and UIM coverages are not expensive — just a few percent of your overall auto premium. If your annual auto insurance premium is $600, adding UM and UIM would be an additional $30. What you pay out of pocket certainly pales in comparison to what you would pay if the at-fault driver has no insurance coverage or insufficient coverage for your injuries.

Remember, more than 75,000 people are injured each day due to vehicle accidents in the U.S. Make sure you have the proper coverages to protect yourself.

chances of winning a wrongful death suit

What are your chances of winning a wrongful death suit? When we typically think of chances of winning, we might envision Las Vegas and blackjack table odds. But if you’ve lost a loved one due to wrongful death, the reality is that gambling on outcomes is probably the furthest thing from you mind.

When you lose someone close to you due to wrongful death, it’s natural to experience feelings of being lost, vulnerable, frustrated, or angry. If this is what you’re dealing with, remember that your feelings are normal and you’re not alone. Thousands of wrongful death claims occur each year throughout the United States.

After a family member dies as the result of somebody else’s negligence, it’s common to feel like you don’t know what to do or where to turn next. Whom should you seek guidance from? What questions should you ask? These are common questions.

If you’re truly wondering about the chances of winning a wrongful death suit, it might be best to reframe the question slightly. What you really want to know is: Do I really have a claim and it is worth pursuing?

Remember, no two wrongful death cases are exactly the same. Your case will need to be considered on its own unique circumstances and merits.

Do You Have a Case? Understanding the Four Elements of Wrongful Death Claims

There are four elements — or requirements — for every wrongful death claim:

  • Duty: Was there an obligation for someone to act reasonable person would?
  • Breach: Did someone violate their duty to use reasonable care?
  • Causation: Did someone’s breach of duty trigger injury or damages?
  • Damages: Did these actions lead to property damage, bodily damages, or pain and suffering?

Together, these four questions represent fancy lawyer talk for determining whether the defendant acted unreasonably and their actions led to the death of a family member. Another way of asking these questions is this: Did someone do something wrong, and did their actions cause your family member to die?

An example of wrongful death case would be someone running a red light and killing another driver. The red-light runner violated a duty to operate a car with reasonable care. Reckless driving directly led to the death of another person.

Is Your Wrongful Death Case Worth Pursuing?

To better understand whether your case is worth pursuing, it would be helpful to visit with an attorney who has experience dealing with wrongful death claims. I am not suggesting that you hire that attorney, or that you must hire any attorney. At the very least, I’d simply like to emphasize that the process of exploring answers is complicated. You need to understand your options before deciding what path to take with your case.

Yet, buyer beware: Any attorney who won’t talk to you for free without you first signing a representation agreement is not a good attorney. What’s more, you should never feel bullied or pressured into hiring an attorney. The attorney-client relationship is very intimate. Dealing with a wrongful death claim can be a very sensitive matter. You should feel comfortable with the attorney or law firm you hire.

Lastly, you should aware that there are deadlines — so-called “statutes of limitations” — that have to be met by law to bring your wrongful death claim. If you fail to meet those deadlines, you lose the right to your claim all together. Don’t wait to discuss your individual situation with an attorney. The sooner you reach out to an attorney, the more time you have to decide upon what to do next.

Questions? Call Negretti & Associates

If you have experienced a wrongful death of a family member in California, Arizona, or Colorado, feel free to reach out to Negretti & Associates with your questions. We can help you investigate whether you really have a claim and whether it is worth pursuing. For a free consultation, call us at (602) 531-3911 in Arizona, (619) 777-3370 in California, or (720) 636-3444 in Colorado. You can also contact us online or send us a text.

what is a wrongful death lawsuit

What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil lawsuit that alleges that the deceased was killed as a result of negligence, a wrongful action of the defendant, or neglect, and the surviving dependents or beneficiaries are entitled to monetary damages as a result of the defendant’s conduct.

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

In Arizona, California, and Colorado, a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought by:

  • The spouse of the deceased;
  • The heir or heirs (children) of the deceased;
  • The parent, or parents, of the deceased; and sometimes
  • The decedent’s designated beneficiary.

Nevertheless, no matter who brings the action, such persons who are heirs of the deceased must share in the settlement or judgment obtained.

Examples of Wrongful Death Cases

Car Crashes and Pedestrian Deaths

Probably the most common examples of wrongful death cases are car crashes and pedestrian deaths, simply due to the sheer volume of drivers on the road. In California alone, the number of drivers totals well over 25 million. With so many drivers, it is not surprising that thousands of car crash fatalities occur each year. The majority of car crash fatalities are due to one driver’s negligence.

Product Liability Deaths

Defective product claims are another significant source of wrongful death cases. If a person dies because of a defective product, the maker of that product can be held responsible to the dependents or beneficiaries of the decedent. Common examples of wrongful death cases related to product defects include airbags failing to deploy, defective furniture, and toxic chemicals in food. A famous example of a product liability case that also resulted in wrongful death cases, along with hundreds of injuries, involves Takata airbags.

Medical Malpractice

These types of claims arise from a medical provider’s negligence. The most common examples of wrongful death cases involving medical malpractice are misdiagnosis and botched medical procedures that lead to death.

Not every death related to a medical provider’s care rises to the level of medical negligence. It is important to understand the standards for a medical negligence claim. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will look for the following four legal elements to prove a claim: 1) a professional duty owed to the patient; 2) a breach of that professional duty; 3) injury caused by that breach; and 4) resulting damages to the patient.

Time Limits: Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

In civil law there are deadlines in which a plaintiff must file a claim. Otherwise, the claimant will be barred from doing so. These time limits are called “statutes of limitations.”

For the clock to begin ticking on a statute-of-limitations deadline, the plaintiff must suffer some damage. As a general rule, a cause of action for personal injuries will arise on the date that a party knows or should have known of the injury and its cause.

What is a wrongful death lawsuit’s so-called statute of limitations? Generally, wrongful death actions must be filed within two (2) years after death. Barring certain circumstances, this is true in states such as in California, Arizona, and Colorado.

Calculating Damages in Wrongful Death Cases

Generally, a jury may award economic (financial) and non-economic (pain and suffering, loss of consortium) damages in a wrongful death case.

Examples of wrongful death case damages that may be awarded include:

  • The cost of your loved one’s medical care prior to passing.
  • The value of your loved one’s pain and suffering.
  • The value of the deceased’s financial contribution to the family, including loss of benefits and inheritance.
  • The cost of funeral and burial services.
  • Emotional distress.
  • Loss of society: a child could recover damages based on the value of a deceased parent’s companionship, advice, guidance, love, and affection.
  • Loss of consortium: a spouse may recover damages based on the benefits that would have been received from the continued life of the decedent.

In states such as California, Arizona, and Colorado, a jury may also award punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded in cases of malicious wrongdoing — to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from behaving similarly. However, states that allow punitive damages usually have capped the amount of punitive damages that may be awarded, or have limited the types of cases where punitive damages may be awarded.

Establishing Fault in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In order to establish fault of the other party in a wrongful death lawsuit, you must prove the party caused the underlying tort — in other words, the wrongful act. In most examples of wrongful death cases, the underlying tort is negligence.

Negligence is the failure to do something a reasonably careful person would do, or doing something a reasonably careful person would not do.

To prove negligence the plaintiff must demonstrate that:

  1. The defendant owed a duty of care;
  2. The defendant breached that duty; and
  3. The breach caused the plaintiff harm.

Questions? Call Us

Often, the death of a loved one may be the worst time in your life. It is important to know that you have rights, and the ability to pursue those rights through a wrongful death lawsuit.

If you’re trying to determine whether your case has grounds for wrongful death lawsuit in the states of Arizona, California, or Colorado, Negretti & Associates would be happy to discuss your questions and see if we can help.

For a free consultation, call us at (602) 531-3911 in Arizona, (619) 777-3370 in California, or (720) 636-3444 in Colorado. You can also contact us online or send us a text.

Will a Micromobility Exam Be Coming to DMV Near You?

micromobility safety education belongs in driver training

The emerging transportation category known as micromobility provides the missing link between personal vehicles and public transit. Often shared by riders on a rental basis, these devices — examples include e-bikes, electric scooters, mopeds, and electric skateboards seen everywhere from densely populated downtowns and college towns to sleepy suburban neighborhoods — help people traverse the proverbial “last mile” of their journeys.

Proponents of micromobility tout the transportation mode’s environment benefits, such as cleaner air and fewer traffic snarls. Opponents warn of myriad safety issues caused by micromobility options; accidents between these devices and motorized vehicles are not uncommon.

Micromobility Defined, in Simple Terms

What, exactly, is micromobility? Generally speaking, micromobility is a term used to describe electric transportation that typically has a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour. The Institute of Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) defines micromobility as “a range of small, lightweight devices operating at speeds typically below 25 km/h (15 mph)” that are “ideal for trips up to 10km,” or 6.2 miles.

The ITDP goes further to explain what micromobility is and is not:

  • A micromobility device can be human-powered or electric, but not powered by an internal combustion engine.
  • A micromobility device can be either privately owned or shared.
  • Most commonly, micromobility devices operate at low speeds — up to 25 km/h or 15 mph. Some devices can travel at moderate speeds, of up to 45 km/h, or 28 miles per hour. Any device that travels faster than 45 km/h or 28 miles per hour cannot be considered a micromobility device.

Micromobility really took off because it was built on a model of shared, pay-per-ride usage — a tonic to the prohibitively expensive costs of owning and maintaining a car or truck. E-scooter and e-bike companies deployed smartphone apps that made it easy for riders to rent a scooter or bike for minutes or hours.

Today, the reality is that micromobility is here to stay. People and urban planners alike have embraced micromobility as a way to avoid traffic congestion in a low-cost, convenient, and mindful way.

How Can We Have Micromobility and Safety?

Despite the popularity of shared scooters and bikes, cities have struggled to create and enforce laws regarding micromobility that actually work. For example, most cities require micromobility riders to utilize bike lanes that are adjacent to fast-moving vehicular traffic, in an effort to avoid having these riders on city sidewalks.

The problem with this approach is that micromobility devices are not equipped to share the roadway with vehicles, which can reach maximum speeds well in excess of 50 miles per hour and have built-in safety features that micromobility devices inherently lack. Additionally, riders are not being adequately trained on how to negotiate city streets that were engineered for cars and trucks.

“I think it’s unfortunate with e-scooters that they get squeezed,” transportation law professor Bryant Walker Smith said in a recent Legal Beagle Podcast interview. “Vulnerable road users — active mobility users — are metaphorically and literally at the margins. Vehicles get 60 feet of pavement. Everybody else fights over the six feet of the curb.

“As a result, it’s less that [e-scooters] pose a particular safety problem and more that there’s no space for them. They’re endangered if they’re on the road, and they endanger others if they’re on the sidewalk. I think that’s a real tragedy caused principally by the dominance of the car, and not by the emergence of the e-scooter.”

Yet, deep within this conundrum lies a potential solution. In 2020, the Corporate Partnership Board (CPB), the International Transport Forum’s platform for engaging with the private sector and enriching global transport policy discussion with a business perspective, published a white paper entitled Safe Micromobility.

One of the solutions offered in the paper was to include micromobility training for road users. The CPB suggests that relevant training should be mandatory for obtaining a driver’s license. Noting that “the risk of injury could be highest during a person’s first few e-scooter rides,” the CPB argues that “all adults should have access to affordable micromobility safety training” and that “all training programmes should be regularly evaluated for their effectiveness and revised accordingly.”

CPB’s recommendation presents a viable option that could ensure more harmony between micromobility and personal vehicles. Further, this approach could offer a better understanding of how to utilize this technology in a safe manner. The cost of providing this additional training can be underwritten by the companies that are offering various micromobility options.

Incorporating Micromobility into Driver Education

A straightforward approach would be to incorporate these trainings into DMV tests. People already learn the rules of the road when they go to obtain their driver’s license. Why not teach the rules of micromobility at the same time?

The way things stand right now, cities are focusing heavily on how to regulate usage of micromobility options. Unfortunately, this is treating the symptom, rather than the cause, of a public safety issue. If driving schools and high schools alike were to incorporate micromobility safety into lesson plans, and DMVs were to make micromobility a part of licensing exams, we undoubtedly would reduce injuries and save lives.

Within all competing interests lies an inherent pathway forward. Companies that want to deploy micromobility transportation on city streets should be willing to work with local and state officials to provide training and resources, in an effort to educate all citizens of how to safely utilize micromobility options. In turn, local and state officials should be willing to sit down with these micromobility companies to discuss how training could be incorporated into current licensing requirements.

california cm-010 limited and unlimited civil case cover sheet multiple plaintiffs

CM-010, the Civil Cover Sheet for all California cases, has a section where the filing party is asked to differentiate whether the case is “unlimited” or “limited.”

Under the Unlimited box, CM-010 states, in parentheses, “amount demanded exceeds $25,000.”

Below the Limited box, CM-010 offers a separate explanatory phrase, also in parentheses: “amount demanded is $25,000.”

The distinction seems simple enough. If your case is valued at more than $25,000, then you should check the Unlimited box. If your case is valued at less than $25,000, then you should check the Limited box.

But what if your case isn’t so simple? What if your case has multiple plaintiffs filing against one defendant? What if each plaintiff’s case may be valued at less than $25,000 individually but, on aggregate, the total amount demanded exceeds $25,000? Which box should you check in that situation?

The answer isn’t necessarily easy to find. The California Code of Civil Procedure §85 subsection (a) states:

The amount in controversy does not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000). As used in this section, “amount in controversy” means the amount of the demand, or the recovery sought, or the value of the property, or the amount of the lien, that is in controversy in the action, exclusive of attorneys’ fees, interest, and costs.

However, this begs the question: Is the amount of the demand — or the recovery sought — per plaintiff, or per case?

The California Appellate Court attempted to address this issue in Pino v. Campo (1993) 15 Cal.App.4th Supp. 1 [19 Cal.Rptr.2d 483], wherein a footnote of that case reads:

Where, as here, there are multiple personal injury plaintiffs joined in a single municipal court action, the court has jurisdiction to award up to $25,000 per plaintiff. (Emery v. Pacific Employers Ins. Co. (1937) 8 Cal. 2d 663, 666 [67 P.2d 1046]). Because the complaint herein had three named plaintiffs, defendant could have been subjected to a judgment in the sum of $75,000.

This would lead one to believe that the “amount in controversy” is per plaintiff and not per case.

Not so fast! The Pino case was prior to the unification of the courts that occurred in 1998. The Court in Ytuarte v. Superior Court 129 Cal.App.4th 266,28 Cal.Rptr.3d 474 best explained the unification of the courts, as follows:

Prior to 1998, California counties had two major designations of civil courts — the superior courts and the municipal courts — and each court system had separate subject-matter jurisdiction. Among other matters, the municipal court had jurisdiction over cases where the amount in controversy was $25,000 or less and the superior court had jurisdiction over cases above $25,000. A case *led in the superior court whose amount in controversy did not meet the jurisdictional minimum was subject to “transfer” of jurisdiction under section 396 from superior court to the municipal court. (Walker v. Superior Court, supra, 53 Cal.3d at p. 264, 279 Cal.Rptr. 576, 807 P.2d 418.)

In 1998, the California Constitution was amended to permit unification of the municipal and superior courts in each county into a single superior court system, which would have original jurisdiction over all matters formerly designated as superior court and municipal court actions. (Cal. Const., art. VI, § 5.) After unification, the municipal courts ceased to exist. (See TraWcSchoolOnline, Inc. v. Superior Court (2001) 89 Cal.App.4th 222, 227, 107 Cal.Rptr.2d 412, 415.)

Now, civil cases formerly within the jurisdiction of the municipal courts are classified as “limited” civil cases, while matters formerly within the jurisdiction of the superior courts are classified as “unlimited” civil action. (§§ 85, 88.).

Did the Ytuarte Court change the footnote found in Pino? Not necessarily. The Court in Ytuarte does go through a thorough analysis of when a case would be subject to reclassification under CCP § 403.040 and further discusses the distinct differences between “unlimited” and “limited” cases. Yet, the Court in Ytuarte did not go as far as to say that the Court in Pino was wrong in their analysis of jurisdictional capacity in limited cases.

In the final analysis, it is this author’s opinion that when filing a case in California, in which multiple plaintiffs are named and the total “amount in controversy” would exceed $25,000, you be best suited to check the Unlimited box and pursue the case accordingly. It is important to understand these distinctions and read the prevailing case law before checking that box on CM-010 form.

Autonomous driving technology is advancing at a breakneck pace. Are laws and ethics ready?

Professor Bryant Walker Smith is one of the world’s leading legal experts on transportation technologies. His research focuses on issues of risk and trust in new technologies, especially automated driving systems and unmanned aerial systems. As automated vehicle technology move towards Level 4 and 5 of automation, the idea of risk analysis is front and center.

In this conversation with Jonathan Negretti, part of the Legal Beagle Podcast, Smith discusses how minimal risk conditions (MRC) factor into the future of this driving technology.

Should there be better standards regarding expected risk? More simply put, might it be time to rethink the relationship between MRC and automated driving systems, to allow for environmental considerations?

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Jonathan Negretti: I caught a comment that you made about the levels of automation. There are six levels of automation, according to SAE International. You argue that those aren’t accurate in some way. What do you mean by that?

Bryant Walker Smith: In 2012, I was one of a few people who sat down and wrote the first version of those levels. We borrowed from the Germans. We were really trying to develop a common language. That was the key from the beginning. We weren’t being normative. We were being descriptive. It was a dictionary.

There are lots of things I would have done differently in hindsight. But I think we did develop a useful vocabulary. To give you an example, Level 3 automated driving is frequently critiqued, along with the levels themselves.

As much as people push back at against these definitional documents, it does provide language necessary to discuss topics. In the same way that we might say, “Murder is bad.” We would also say we’re glad that the dictionary defines murder, because we have a term that we can agree on — a common meaning.

Now, unfortunately, the levels have been widely misconstrued by people who claim expertise in the field. That’s on them. They are plenty capable of reading a 35-page document and understanding it. For everybody else, the public regulators, that’s on us — the authors. We need to more effectively communicate what these levels do, what the divisions among them are and how all of the supporting concepts fit in.

Jonathan Negretti: Could you boil down autonomous driving levels to some basic definitions or principles, for someone who maybe doesn’t have the level expertise that you do? What are the six levels of vehicle automation, 0 to 5, according to SAE?

Bryant Walker Smith: Level 0 is not just your father’s father’s Oldsmobile, it’s also a lot of the vehicles that are still on the road today. It is where you are driving full-stop, without qualification.

I would contrast that with the other levels that are assisted driving — Levels 1 and 2. At Level 1, you’re driving, but you’re assisted with either steering or speed. At Level 2, you’re driving, but you’re assisted with both steering and speed. Now, each of these levels is assisted driving.

They exclude, as a technical matter, emergency systems that intervene, although momentarily — including everything from anti-lock brakes up to crash avoidance. They include adaptive cruise control, active lane keeping — the kinds of systems that are on many of the new vehicles that someone could buy today. The key for each of these levels is they work — unless and until they don’t. And that’s why, in defining these, it’s important to emphasize that you, the human, are driving, even though these systems might assist.

SAE J3016, the definitions document, does contrast these assisted driving features with the automated driving features, which are Levels 3, 4, and 5.

At Level 3, you’re not driving, but you will need to drive, if prompted, in order to maintain safety. The key example here are the kinds of features that a few automakers have promised to introduce imminently, that under certain low speeds, freeway conditions, the motor vehicle would continue traveling with the other vehicles and the human driver could disengage, look down, or look away. But at the point that the vehicle started moving faster again, the system would be about to leave what we call its operational design domain, or ODD, for short. Essentially it would be the point at which the human was going to have to start driving again. The system would give a warning, and the human would be expected to engage. Now, if the human did not, the system would hopefully make that very uncomfortable. You might be sitting on a freeway, and the system might even try to reduce risk, by pulling off to the side, if possible.

But Level 3 does not entail the expectation — that is, the promise — that the system could reliably reliably achieve what we would call a minimal risk condition.

Contrast that with Level 4, where the system does reliably achieve a minimal risk condition, where the manufacturer in effect promises that even if a human does not resume actively driving, the system will be able to take risk out of the system, to a level where we would say, “Yeah, that’s good enough. You’re on the side of the road. You’re not in an active lane of traffic under most circumstances.”

Now, at Level 4, you’re not driving, but either one of two situations apply:

  • The first is you will need to drive, if prompted, in order to reach your destination. This is in a vehicle that you can drive.
  • Or, you will not be able to reach every destination. This is in a vehicle that you can’t drive, so like a low-speed shuttle that has no steering wheel.

You can’t take it from Phoenix, Arizona to Columbia, South Carolina. But if the ODD remains in the neighborhood that it’s circulating, it will reliably achieve a minimum risk condition and the human will never need to drive.

Level 5 is where we start mixing our axes and we say, “Well, it’s Level 4 everywhere.” You’re not driving, and you can reach any destination that a human could reasonably expect to reach.

Now I’ll just note that I’ve been using the word “driving” here, and already I’m contradicting our own definitions document, where driving is given a much broader meaning. In fact, law gives driving a much broader meaning. When I say drive, what I’m talking about is what SAE J3016 calls performing the dynamic driving task. That’s doing all the things necessary for real-time driving: steering, braking, paying attention, responding to events.

Those are the levels. I think those are really helpful in some situations. But I think they’re less helpful for a lot of general-purpose conversations about automated driving. Rather than talk about levels, it’s more useful to say, “Look, are we talking about the assistance feature, or are we talking about an automated driving feature?” That’s the really key divide for most purposes. Second, where can the system operate? I also talk about types of trips and types of vehicles in addition to the levels, which describe types of vehicle features.

Jonathan Negretti: Are the Waymo vehicles in Chandler, Arizona operating under Level 4, based on the way you just described Level 4?

Bryant Walker Smith: How Waymo describes its system, these are vehicles that are able to drive within their zone — their operational design domain — without a human driver, who remains in the loop and intervenes in real time, or is even expected to intervene in real time.

Waymo does have an extensive monitoring network, including people who can provide input into the vehicle. For example, if there’s a hazard that the system needs to navigate around — a remote assistant could suggest a path or help identify a scenario to communicate with the people inside. But, in Waymo’s characterization, that person is not driving. They are not in real-time observing the road and, based on that, actively engaging directly or remotely, steering, or braking. Therefore, that person, or people, do not qualify as remote drivers. Therefore, that is an example of Level 4 automated driving.

Now even there that’s subject to some challenge. This is a field with hyperbole. Tesla felt the need to call their driver assistance system full self-driving. Waymo responded by calling their automated system “fully autonomous.” This “full” word is just going to modify everything!

I think there are ways where we would question that. You’re limited in your domain. Clearly you rely on a human who does a lot, even if it’s not driving. There are these details that I think we need to be more transparent about in truly understanding how each of these systems operate.

Jonathan Negretti: Let’s talk about J3016, the minimal risk conditions (MRC), and the possibility of additional conditions, the attainable and the expected MRC. Can you explain MRC and then talk to me about why you think we need to have attainable and expected MRC?

Bryant Walker Smith: Minimal risk condition is the fancy term that we use to say, “Where do you go when you can’t keep driving?”

Humans can achieve a minimal risk condition. You blow out a tire, you pull to the side of the road to change the tire. There’s a big snowstorm and you can’t see? You pull off the freeway and wait at the rest stop. There is a crash up ahead — this is where it gets a little tricky — you can’t pull off, you’re sitting in traffic. You put on your flashers and you wait for the crash to clear. These are all at least arguably minimal risk conditions: the things we do when we either cannot or should not complete the trip that we’re on.

That’s the key concept of minimal risk condition. It’s important in two different ways. One, is describing where a vehicle ends up when its automated driving system — this is expected at Level 4 or 5 — needs to achieve a minimal risk condition. That could be because the human who was expected to drive, to complete the trip, has decided to fall asleep. The vehicle says, “I can achieve reasonable safety, but can’t complete the trip, so I have to go somewhere.” Or, when there is a failure in one of the systems, or an issue in the environment that prevents the vehicle from continuing. There’s a deer strike, and it needs to get off the road. That’s the first: describing what that situation is — under the circumstances, what is the most reasonable thing to do?

Under those circumstances, it might be to drive to your maintenance depot at slow speeds. It might be to get off at the next exit. It might be pull over to the shoulder now, or it might be there is no shoulder, you have to stop. This is a very context-dependent condition. It depends on what the system actually can do.

So that’s the first way that it’s useful — in describing under the circumstances the least bad option: this isn’t our first choice, but what’s the least bad thing that we can do right now to reduce the risk of a crash?

The second way that minimal risk condition is used is to delineate Level 3 from Level 4. At Level 4 we say the automated driving system always achieves a minimal risk condition. At Level 3, the human driver is expected to achieve that minimal risk condition.

In other words, if you are on a congested freeway and suddenly the vehicle can’t continue, it alerts the driver and the human driver would be expected to pull it over to the shoulder. If the system reliably can achieve this, or the manufacturer promises the system can reliably achieve this, it’s Level 4. If not, it’s Level 3.

Now, the problem comes when we mash these two different uses of minimal risk condition together. In some circumstances, it might be the least bad thing for a vehicle to stop in an active lane of traffic. You can’t stop on a shoulder. There’s a blizzard. You just have to stop in your lane.

But, under other circumstances, that would not be acceptable. You’re driving down a freeway at 70 miles an hour and the automated driving system says, “I shouldn’t continue.” The minimal risk condition can’t be just stopping on I-95 as cars are whizzing by on either side.

If we define minimal risk condition to be the least bad thing that the automated driving system is capable of doing, then the least bad thing that a Level 3 or a less capable system might be capable of is to simply stop in the lane. If, then, definitionally, the minimal risk condition is the thing that the system can do, that becomes the minimal risk condition. If that becomes the minimal risk condition, that means the system can achieve it. This is the power of low expectations. If the system can achieve it, then that makes it not a Level 3 system, but a Level 4 system.

It would be like a sign at the carnival that said, “To get on this ride you have to be as tall as you are.” You know, everybody could ride. That would definitionally be correct, but it wouldn’t be very helpful for describing the safety goal of ensuring that the person who gets on the carnival ride is tall enough.

When we use minimal risk condition in these two ways, we’re basically saying that the minimal risk condition is what the system does, but a minimal risk condition is also a certain expectation for what the system should do — the descriptive versus the normative. We need to distinguish those two concepts.

Jonathan Negretti: That is how we dive into attainable and expected MRCs. Can you explain that a bit more?

Bryant Walker Smith: Attainable minimal risk condition is what the system can actually do under the circumstances. That accounts not only for environmental constraints and vehicle constraints, but also for the constrains of the automated driving system itself.

For example, if the automated driving system were to crash and lose its only power source, then all that automatic driving system might be able to do is to come to a stop in its travel path. It might not even know where the lanes are. That would be the safest thing that system could do under the circumstances, and that would be attainable minimal risk condition.

But that can’t be what we expect the minimal risk condition to be, because that would mean that an automated driving system that has no power backups is let off the hook compared to one that has five power backups.

And, so, expected minimal risk condition would be what we say the automated driving system should be capable of doing given constraints in the environment and in the rest of the vehicle, but without regard to limitations in the automated driving system itself. Meaning, if a driveshaft breaks, you stop in the lane. If your LIDAR gets knocked off, you stop in the lane, too. But that reflects a failure of a Level 4 automated driving system, because we would expect the system to be able to move the car to the shoulder. If it loses its sensors, it cannot do that, even though it should for the purposes of the expected minimal risk condition.

The expected is normative: “What should the automated driving system do under the circumstances?”

The attainable is the descriptive: “What can this particular system, with its limitations, actually achieve under the circumstances?”

Jonathan Negretti: Under the normative thought of expected MRC, are we deciding what these expectations are?

Bryant Walker Smith: J3016 always strives to be non-normative, but there are certain normative underpinnings that we have to accept. What is a car? What is a system? What is observing? There are things that need some content — some minimum floor. If we are going to distinguish Level 3 and Level 4 with reference to minimal risk condition, we do need to define that minimal floor.

Fortunately, what SAE and even ISO are doing at this point is, early on, working on a taxonomy of minimal risk conditions on possibly a hierarchy, or at least a set of language to describe different conditions — like pull to the road, drive to the service depot, stop in the lane, go to a hotel for the night, drive to the emergency room right away. Stop, do not pass go. This would be useful for supplying content into minimal risk condition.

Who ultimately decides? There are some engineering judgments that need to be made here. One of those is distinguishing, frankly, between the automated driving system and the rest of the vehicle. If you share an actuator, is that part of the automated driving system or is that part of the vehicle? Where do you draw that line?

The other is determining, under the circumstances, what would be achievable. As a matter of physics, as a matter of safety, a vehicle that cannot power its motor cannot accelerate. A vehicle that cannot turn cannot change its path. An automated driving system, though, that loses confidence in its determinations might still be able to make those decisions, but with less of a safety margin — with less confidence that the environment that it’s perceiving is the environment that actually exists. So, there are lots of judgement calls, unfortunately, embedded in terminology, in these levels, and even in my proposal.

Jonathan Negretti: Is there, in your opinion, a goal to make this imperfect system perfect? Or is that just not realistic?

Bryant Walker Smith: None of these systems are going to be perfect. We don’t even know what that means, unfortunately. You know, the history of technology — progress of law — is replacing one set of problems with a new set of problems, and just really hoping that the new set on aggregate is less than the old set.

Cars were supposed to be the green environmental technology of 100 years ago. They were our solution to pollution — the solution being horses. The average horse is 25 pounds of manure [daily]. New York City had 100,000 horses. You can do the math. It’s a lot of manure a day. So cars came along. They were supposed to solve pollution. And then they didn’t.

The same with automation. We’ll introduce problems. Things will mess up. There will be unforeseeable issues. So much of the difficulty in in designing these systems, and even regulating them, comes in the long tail of the unforeseeable — the things that we can’t really predict yet could turn out to be the biggest problems in the future. Lack of availability — if we have a system-wide shutdown — if everyone’s trying to evacuate a flood and suddenly all the automated vehicles shut down. That’s a problem.

Unanticipated hazards of technologies — concerns real or ungrounded about active sensors, all of these are the uncertainty that will confront these systems. So, absolutely not perfection.

To bring this back to the levels, J3016 does not define these levels by perfection. Meaning, a manufacturer that promises its system will achieve a minimal risk condition represents that its system is Level 4. That system remains Level 4 even if the system fails to achieve a minimal risk condition. Even if it drives itself off of a bridge, it’s still Level 4. It’s just a Level 4 system that has failed.

Jonathan Negretti: Is the goal to make this uniform across all the technology that is being utilized by these different makers in these different vehicles? Right now, if you look at crashes, really that’s just a failure of the interpretation of an MRC by the human being. Your interpretation of your MRC is different than mine, and then we crash. There may be other factors, and I would argue you’re right. But we have different interpretations of what is minimal risk. Is the future of this, Professor, to see uniformity and a standard? Is that what J3016 is trying to do?

Bryant Walker Smith: Let’s break that into two pieces — each of which is really important. The first would be minimal risk condition itself. This is a condition that is static. It’s not the dynamic, on-the-road, moving condition. It’s not two people — “My minimal risk is just go straight through this traffic signal” and another person is, “My minimal risk is to accelerate through the yellow.” That would be their estimation of risk, which is another function that automated driving systems will necessarily do — make judgments about actual risk and then judgments about whether that actual risk is acceptable. There, I agree that so many crashes result from a disconnect between perceived risk and actual risk — particularly among humans, who are somewhat bad at that.

When we’re talking about minimal risk, it’s once a trip should not be completed, where do we go, what do we do? The other part is how we get there. How do we pull off to the side of the road? The end states are what MRC is.

The second part you brought up is standardization. J3016 is not a standard. That is developed through SAE, through a standard-setting process by a standard-setting committee. It is, however, not a standard with the expectation that it is followed, but a recommended practice, with the idea that “It would be really nice if everybody in industry followed this.” Even the foundational definitions document doesn’t yet claim to set domain over the field.

I think it would be really great if everybody agreed on a common language and used it correctly, and stopped summarizing it incorrectly. We’re not there yet. I think we’re still struggling with that. One of the difficulties is sometimes terms just aren’t a great fit, and sometimes we have to step away from the terms and just say what we mean. What do we mean when we’re talking about a vehicle that does X, Y, and Z?

I don’t have the expectation that suddenly we’re going to reach even linguistic standardization anytime soon. I hope we at least reach more linguistic discipline in ensuring that we’re not actively fostering miscommunication within or across domains.

As for the next step, which would be the more substantive standardization, that’s the work of other SAE documents that are beginning to set the stage for a more substantive expectation. We might even say at some point standards — that is, what the systems should do. That’s also the work of policymakers who will eventually set normative expectations, whether at the federal level — including through some of National Highway Traffic Administration’s inchoate rulemaking efforts — or the state level, through some pretty basic expectations being placed on these systems. That’s where we’re going to supply more of the content for what reasonable driving means.

Jonathan Negretti: I think your class worked on an e-scooter, dockless mobility project (docklessmobility.org), you talked to cities and policy makers about how to properly govern e-scooters in their jurisdictions. I feel like this is all happening after the fact, like the scooters got dumped on city streets, and safety and consumer protection was an afterthought. People started running into each other — flying off of them on sidewalks. All sorts of catastrophic injuries started to occur. And then, cities start to say, “Hey, we need to change things. We should re-look at the standards of how we police this and, ultimately, how we enforce this.” Do you see that happening with autonomous technology in vehicles?

Bryant Walker Smith: Oh, yeah. I think you could say the same thing about basically every technology, including cars. They just got dumped on roads and we’re still struggling to figure out what to do about that.

I think it’s unfortunate with e-scooters that they get squeezed. Vulnerable road users — active mobility users — are metaphorically and literally at the margins. Vehicles get 60 feet of pavement. Everybody else fights over the six feet of the curb. As a result, it’s less that they pose a particular safety problem and more that there’s no space for them. They’re endangered if they’re on the road, and they endanger others if they’re on the sidewalk. I think that’s a real tragedy caused principally by the dominance of the car, and not by the emergence of the e-scooter.

I really agree with the undercurrent of your comment that we need to be thinking not just how to get automated vehicles, but how to use them as a tool to really unlock the policy goals that we have, whether that is increased safety or increased mobility, or increased environmental performance, or community or autonomy. Any of these could be helped by automation. They could also be threatened by automation. And so, I think it is incumbent on policymakers to define the goal and then think about how technologies, including automated driving and lower-hanging fruit and non-technological interventions can really help achieve those goals.

pedestrian fatalities how to stop them

In the past two weeks, less than two miles apart, two separate car crashes involving pedestrians occurred in Phoenix, Arizona. Tragically, both pedestrians involved in these accidents died as a result of their injuries.

On January 29, 2022, Anthony Vasquez was hit and killed by a vehicle near 49th Street and Indian School Road. Vasquez was just 27 years old.

On February 5, 2022, Rosa Mroz was hit and killed near 56th Street and Camelback Road. Mroz was a Maricopa County Superior Court judge. Our legal community was dealt a great loss with her passing.

Although the facts of these fatalities may differ, what connects them, along with the thousands of other fatalities that occur nationwide, is that they both involved vehicles hitting pedestrians.

Pedestrian Fatalities Soared During the Pandemic

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian deaths soared in 2020. While people drove 13% fewer miles in 2020, due to the pandemic, pedestrian deaths increased nearly 5%. In effect, on a per-mile basis, pedestrian fatalities increased 21%.

GHSA reports that the “likely culprits are dangerous driving — like speeding, drunk and drugged driving, and distraction.”

What changed in 2020? Several theories are circulating in the news.

According to one, the uncertainty of the pandemic made U.S. drivers more reckless. Americans felt isolated, lonely, and depressed, leading to unsafe driving behaviors.

Another theory claims that, with fewer people needing to commute to and from work, there are more pedestrians on our roadways taking morning walks and evening jogs — enjoying fresh air and good, old-fashioned on-foot mobility.

Perhaps there is truth in both appraisals. Either way, we’re now witnessing a struggle between roadways built for vehicular travel and pedestrians who are using those same roadways as the best way to get from point A to point B.

Stopping Pedestrian Fatalities

So, then, what can we do about the problem of pedestrian fatalities?

The answer seems like less of a theory and more of a practical application. It all goes back to driver’s education. (See U.S. Rules of the Road, an excellent guide for beginning drivers, as well as the grounds for a refresher course, for those who are experienced.)

Remember the following:

  • Drivers must ALWAYS yield to pedestrians.
  • Drivers must come to a complete stop whenever they see pedestrians trying to cross the street.
  • Drive cautiously and keep your eyes up at all times.
  • Pedestrians should not trust that a vehicle is going to see them or stop for them.
  • Pedestrians should be on a continual lookout for vehicles, even at marked intersections, and avoid crossing roadways mid-block when possible or practical.

Cities also should be notified of road hazards. Municipalities, too, have an obligation to be continually evaluating areas where pedestrian and vehicle interactions are high.

If there’s a potential traffic issue where you live, let your local traffic authority know. Your local traffic engineers will probably appreciate your feedback.

Just because there isn’t a crosswalk doesn’t mean the city shouldn’t put one there. Conversely, just because there is a crosswalk, it doesn’t mean that it has an effective application, without better safety standards in place.

Ultimately, it is up to all of us to slow down and pay better attention. Share roadways to ensure that we all get where we need to go safely and soundly. You may be a driver today and a pedestrian tomorrow. Try to see the road from both points of view.