Pedestrian accidents are a major problem all over the country. There are several contributing factors that lead to pedestrian accidents, including cell phone use, earbud or headphone use, or simply not paying attention. Many states have laws in place to protect pedestrians as they cross streets or intersections. Here are some things you need to know if you are a pedestrian walking around busy streets and roads:
Are You Protected by Law?
As mentioned, there are laws protecting pedestrians using crosswalks or signals. Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks. If an accident happens and a pedestrian is hit in a crosswalk, the driver's chances of being held solely responsible are very high. However, if the pedestrian is not in a crosswalk and is hit by a car, you may wonder if you still have legal protection. The fact is that each case will vary based on the events of the accident. Ultimately, pedestrians have a duty to only use public crosswalks to ensure everyone remains safe and avoid an accident. However, this is not always possible. Some smaller streets may not have signals or crosswalks. In this case, a pedestrian has to cross carefully and take extra care to avoid a car. But a driver can still be held responsible. The answer to whether or not you will be protected legally as a pedestrian when not on a crosswalk is difficult to answer. You may be protected as a pedestrian, but you have to show you were making every effort to be safe as you cross.
How Can You Mitigate the Risk of Getting Hit as a Pedestrian?
To help avoid an accident, there are some steps you can take as a pedestrian to make sure you do not put yourself in a bad position. One thing you can do is pay full attention as you cross a street or roadway. Do not look at your phone as you cross. Turn down your music and watch the traffic as you move across the street. Make sure you watch for people turning into the lane you are crossing, as they may not see you. If a large truck stops in front of you, consider letting it pass before you cross, as the taller trucks may not see you as you cross the street and could hit you.
If you are a pedestrian who has been hit by a car, you need to call an attorney. Injuries in this type of accident can be devastating, and you should do all you can to recoup your damages.
For more info, contact a local pedestrian accident lawyer.