Always Look Both Ways!
Pedestrian accidents account for the second highest number of fatalities on the road.
What causes pedestrian accidents?
When pedestrian accidents happen, someone normally failed to observe traffic rules and regulations. It is either the motor vehicle driver or the pedestrian, or both who could be at fault. If an individual miscalculated his actions, lost control or committed an error while using the road, this negligence or recklessness can cause serious and/or fatal injuries to pedestrians and motorists. Normally this is due to:
Distracted driving (e.g., texting, eating, talking with passengers, changing the radio station, daydreaming, etc.)
Distracted walking (e.g., texting, reading, listening to music, etc.)
Driving while intoxicated
Driving while fatigued
Dangerous roadways (e.g., closed off sidewalks due to construction, a lack of sidewalks)
Broken or missing traffic signals
Is the driver always liable for an accident in an intersection?
Many people are unaware of just how right-of-way laws work. In many cases, the driver or the pedestrian thinks they always have the right-of-way which is not true.
The pedestrian has the right-of-way in a crosswalk regardless of whether it is marked (i.e., white lines) or unmarked (i.e., an intersection). However, pedestrians must wait for the walk signal to change in their favor, and must always look both ways before crossing. If a pedestrian crosses against the walk signal, they could be liable for their own injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) stated that tens of thousands of pedestrians were injured and thousands experienced death within a year due to motor vehicle accidents.
Is the driver always liable for hitting a pedestrian?
Not always. While drivers have a duty of care to watch out for pedestrians, especially in heavily-populated areas, pedestrians must also do their part to ensure their own safety.
If the driver was operating the vehicle safely and was not negligent in any way, the driver may not be liable. An example of this is when a pedestrian darts out in front of a moving vehicle and the vehicle cannot stop in time. If the driver was obeying speed limits and surveying the area for pedestrians and other dangers, the driver is likely not liable.