Any time you walk near the road, there's a bit of a risk. Pedestrians get hit every day. Many of these accidents lead to serious injuries.
However, one of the main issues you face is when someone is waiting to turn left at an intersection. This creates a situation where you may have the walk symbol and the right of way, but the driver could still easily hit you while you are legally in the crosswalk.
Typically, a controlled left turn -- one with its own light or a green arrow -- is safer. Drivers simply wait and watch the light, and the walk signal tells you when you should not enter the road.
The greatest danger is at an intersection without a specific light control for left turns. Drivers simply pull up to the flashing light or even a green light and wait for oncoming traffic to clear. When it does, they are allowed to turn left.
The problem with this setup is that many drivers do not look at the crosswalk, even though they are going to turn through it. Instead, they look at the oncoming traffic. They see that as the greatest obstacle, and they need to find that break in traffic to make their turn. When they see it, they may start turning without even looking where they're going. Instead, they keep looking at the gap or the next oncoming car, making sure they have space to execute the turn.
For a pedestrian who is legally in the crosswalk, this is a potentially fatal accident just waiting to happen. Those who get injured or lose loved ones in traffic accidents need to know what legal rights they have.