Pedestrian Accidents and Crosswalks: What You Should Know
Crosswalks can give pedestrians a false sense of security. Unfortunately, many pedestrian accidents occur at crosswalks.
Pedestrians who are injured in a crosswalk accident caused by a negligent driver deserve compensation for their injuries. The attorneys of Golitko & Daly, PC, are dedicated to getting clients the maximum compensation for their injuries. They can help if you have been injured in a pedestrian accident at a crosswalk in or around Indianapolis, IN.
Pedestrian Deaths Occur Every 90 Minutes
Pedestrians are at a serious disadvantage when involved in an accident with a car or other motor vehicle. Because pedestrians are exposed, they are more likely to suffer serious injuries or death if hit by a car.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in the United States alone, there were nearly 6,000 pedestrian deaths in 2016. The NHTSA states that’s approximately one pedestrian killed every 90 minutes.
With so many pedestrian deaths, it’s important for both pedestrians and drivers to practice caution and stay aware of one another when walking or driving.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Crosswalk Accidents
One way that pedestrians and drivers can avoid pedestrian accidents is to be aware of the common causes of these accidents:
- Speeding: Driving over the speed limit is unsafe, especially when pedestrians may be near. It takes longer for a motor vehicle to come to a complete stop when driving at high speeds, which can lead to a driver failing to stop in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian.
- Failure to yield the right of way: Pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks. Some drivers fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians. If pedestrians assume the right of way, as they are entitled to at a crosswalk, and a driver does not yield to them, it can result in a serious accident.
- Failing to signal when turning: Drivers who fail to signal when turning can lead pedestrians to believe they are driving straight. Pedestrians may then think it’s safe to cross at a crosswalk, but end up getting hit by the vehicle as it turns.
- Passing a car stopped at a crosswalk: Impatient drivers may try to go around a car stopped at a crosswalk, not realizing the car was stopped to let pedestrians pass.
What Can Pedestrians Do to Protect Themselves?
Although drivers often hold all or most of the responsibility in crosswalk accidents with pedestrians, pedestrians can take steps to avoid being involved in an accident.
- Obey signs and signals: Pedestrians must follow signs, signals, and other rules of the road. Jaywalking, or crossing across traffic and not a designated crosswalk, can surprise drivers and lead to an accident.
- Stay alert: It’s important to stay alert and watch for cars while walking. Pedestrians should refrain from looking at their phones, texting, or diverting their attention, especially when crossing a street.
- Don’t assume a driver sees you: Just because you see a driver does not mean they see you. Although pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks, this does not mean a driver will give it to you. Make eye contact and wait to see that the driver has stopped before crossing.
- Wear reflective clothing at night: Pedestrians are difficult to see at night, especially when wearing dark clothes. Wearing reflective clothing, light clothing, or carrying a flashlight can help drivers see pedestrians when it’s dark out.
Pedestrians who are injured in an accident at a crosswalk should seek the help of an attorney. A pedestrian accident attorney can help those who have been injured by another person’s negligence get compensation for their injuries, lost wages, and other damages.
Contact Golitko & Daly, PC
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, we encourage you to call our attorneys at (317) 566-9600 to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options.