Causes of Pedestrian Accidents – Failure to Observe Crosswalks
By Sandra Dalton, Staff Writer
Traffic laws are established to prevent accidents. They are designed to protect both motorists and pedestrians. These rules lay out how motorists and pedestrians should use the roads.
In addition to the laws affecting motorists, traffic laws govern how pedestrians should cross roads. Pedestrians are required to cross at intersections using crosswalks. The pedestrian must wait for the signal to ‘Walk’ before crossing the street. The ‘Walk’ signal gives the pedestrian the right of way in the crosswalk.
If the intersection does not have a traffic signal to control traffic, the pedestrian is considered to have the right of way when in the crosswalk. Motorists must yield to the pedestrian.
Although crosswalks are designed to provide a safe point from which pedestrians can cross roads, accidents often occur at these points. Many accidents involving pedestrians being struck by vehicles occur at crosswalks.
Crosswalk accidents often occur as a result of driver negligence. Driver negligence may include:
- Distracted driving
- A driver failing to observe the speed limit in the area of the crosswalk
- A driver failing to yield to a pedestrian who is already in a marked crosswalk
- A driver turning into an intersection negligently
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
There are instances when the pedestrian may have acted negligently and therefore caused or contributed to the accident. These include:
- Engaging in distracted walking e.g. texting on a mobile device while walking and therefore failing to check for oncoming vehicles before entering the crosswalk.
- Failing to yield to the motorist when the traffic signal indicates that the pedestrian should ‘stop’.
Crosswalk accident injuries
Accidents involving pedestrians and motor vehicles are often catastrophic. This is because unlike motorists, pedestrians do not have physical barriers that can protect them from the impact of the vehicle. Injuries resulting from these accidents are often serious. They may include:
What to do if you get injured as a result of a crosswalk accident
If you or even someone you know been injured in a crosswalk accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The first step is to seek medical attention. In addition to obtaining treatment and beginning the healing process, your medical records will be vital evidence for your claim.
Your second step should be hiring an experienced personal injury attorney. Your attorney will help you file your claim. He will also gather evidence to prove your claim and will negotiate with the insurance company. If a settlement is not possible, your attorney will take your claim to court and attempt to convince a jury that you deserve full compensation.