With more vehicles entering our roads every day, car and truck accidents involving pedestrians have only increased. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reports that every year, around 5,000 pedestrians die in accidents involving motor vehicles, and in 2012 alone, approximately 76,000 pedestrians suffered injuries from car or truck accidents.
Pedestrian accidents often occur due to factors such as:
Distracted driving – such as when a driver is distracted by a cell phone or any other device while driving. In such situations, they may not see the sidewalk, causing them not to yield to pedestrians.
Speeding – such as when a driver speeds in crosswalks and fails to yield to pedestrians.
Traffic signs or signals disobedience – such as when a driver thinks the roads are free and that there’s no need to obey the traffic signs, not realizing a pedestrian is approaching.
Failing to signal while turning – signaling is essential to alert others of your next move and help them take the right action.
Driving despite warnings of terrible weather or traffic conditions – driving in this condition puts others at risk since drivers in this category are less likely to see the road clearly.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol – this category of drivers isn’t only a threat to pedestrians, but they are also a threat to other motorists sharing the roads with them.
Driving while fatigued – fatigued drivers may fall asleep at the wheel, putting pedestrians and other motorists at great risk.
Pedestrian accidents can result in minor or major consequences such as injuries, fractures, or disability and can even lead to the death of a loved one in some cases. If unaddressed in the right way, the perpetrator might go scot-free, leaving the victim in physical and emotional pain.
If you’ve been involved in a vehicle-related accident, a pedestrian accident lawyer might be able to help bring your perpetrator to book and get you the compensation that you deserve.
Although not all pedestrian accidents are entirely due to a driver’s negligence, which is why knowing your responsibilities will help you understand when you have been wrongfully injured and why you should be compensated for the injury sustained.
What Responsibilities Do Pedestrians Have?
You could be guilty of an accident if you don’t carry out your responsibilities as a pedestrian. Thus, you might end up not getting any compensation before the law or even be responsible for other people’s losses. But if you have discharged your responsibilities as expected, your pedestrian accident lawyer can help you get the right compensation in an accident situation.
Your responsibility as a pedestrian include:
- Obeying all traffic control devices
- Using sidewalks whenever possible.
- If there are no sidewalks, pedestrians must walk on the left shoulder of the road facing any approaching traffic.
- Refraining from standing in roadways designed for motor vehicle traffic
- Walking to the right half when using a crosswalk
What Are Driver’s Responsibilities When It Comes to Pedestrians?
Just like pedestrians, motorists are required to stick to certain rules in order to protect lives and prevent accidents as much as possible. Typically, motorists should yield to pedestrians while ensuring to keep a safe distance from them.
However, if a driver fails to keep the rules and refuses to carry out his responsibilities, they can be held liable if an accident occurs. Motorists MUST yield in situations such as:
- When there is a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk
- When there are kids near a school zone crosswalk
- Pedestrians have a walk signal at an intersection
- Traffic signs stating that there are no turns allowed when a pedestrian is present
- Pedestrians that are using a sidewalk to cross a private alley or driveway
- Pedestrians that are in an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection that has a stop sign
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s important to do the following:
- Call the police immediately
- Don’t leave the scene of the accident before help arrives
- Note down the names and phone numbers of the witnesses
- Don’t make any statements to anyone, including drivers and insurers
- Hire a professional pedestrian accident lawyer to help you get the deserved compensation
It’s important for pedestrians to be careful and vigilant while walking beside and crossing the road. However, if you’re ever hit and injured by a vehicle, your pedestrian accident attorney will help examine your case to ensure you have a strong claim. Therefore, you want to make sure you have photos and videos of the accident scene and any possible CCTV camera footage that shows the details of the accident.