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| Choulos Choulos & Wyle

What is going on in San Jose? It would seem that San Jose pedestrians and bicycle riders have been under attack. In a 5 day span three deaths and two serious injuries occurred in San Jose. San Jose police recently issued a warning to drivers, after five separate accidents harming bicyclists and pedestrians. Is the recent daylight savings time change partially to blame? Is the commute suddenly darker and more dangerous?

One of the latest fatal accident occurred Wednesday night, November 9, 2011 when a 67-year-old woman died after being struck by a car near Regional Medical Center as she was walking in a crosswalk around 6:35 p.m.. Darkness or not, there is certainly no excuse for striking a pedestrian if she is visible and the driver should be made accountable.

Just ten minutes earlier, a 54-year-old San Jose man suffered critical injuries after being struck while walking on Tully Road.

Less than 15 minutes later, a 44-year-old San Jose bicyclist suffered serious injuries after he was struck by a car around 6:50 p.m.

The incidents come after an SUV fatally hit 58-year-old San Jose bicyclist Jingang Tan, who was riding across a West San Jose street at 6:00 p.m. on Monday November 7th, 2011.

Before that, Jessenia Camacho-Torres, who was 20 and lived in San Jose, was struck by two cars and killed while walking across a South San Jose street on Saturday night, the night of the time change.

Even worse is that this death marks the city’s 14th fatal vehicle-versus-pedestrian traffic collision of 2011.

As a Bay Area Bicycle Pedestrian Attorney, I urge all motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to use extra care to remember their surroundings and to take into consideration that the recent time change may increase the risks of dangers on the road. Pedestrians who walk at night and bicyclists who ride after dark should always wear reflective equipment and or carry a flashlight or head and tail lamp, especially during these now darkened commute hours. If you are visible, you are avoidable. Please do your part to prevent pedestrian and bicycle injuries.

Claude Wyle is an aggressive advocate for Bay Area bicyclists and pedestrians. Claude has decades of experience representing those harmed by the wrongful conduct of others, and, as a San Francisco bicycle and pedestrian accident attorney, has fought to protect the rights of injured cyclists and pedestrians throughout his legal career. Claude is also an avid hiker and cyclist himself and member of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and is a sponsor of Safe Routes to School.


  1. Gravatar for Opus the Poet
    Opus the Poet

    I'm still trying to understand how it is somehow the fault of the victim that the driver does not have lights that make the victim visible to the driver, that the victims must carry additional lighting so that the driver will notice them. If the driver can't see a pedestrian in the headlights in time to stop then the driver is going too fast for conditions and MUST slow down under the laws in all 50 states and DC. It's commonly referred to as the "Basic Speed Law" and is part of TX VC 545, I'm sure that CA has a similar law in your VC. If you can't see to stop in the distance illuminated by your headlights, SLOW DOWN!! It doesn't matter what the speed limit is in that area, if you can't see to stop SLOW DOWN!! I have several square feet of reflective material and an obnoxiously bright flashing tail light on the back of my cargo bike, if you can't see me you should seriously get off the roads and consider getting a white cane, because if you can't see my bike you're blind.

  2. Claude Wyle

    Dear Opus:

    I agree with you 110% that motorists who are operating potentially deadly equipment should never out drive their headlights and should be all the more cautious at night.

    But, that being said, I am cautioning bicycle riders and pedestrians alike to increase their visibility in the hope that they will avoid injury or death.

    We may be right that the motorists should be more careful and keep a proper lookout, but staying alive is ultimately more important than being right. Even to a lawyer like me.

    Thanks for your comment. I sincerely appreciate your view and hope that you will keep commenting on my blog when you find it interesting.

    Best wishes, Claude

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