Pedestrian Accidents

  • By:David Bate

Car accidents involving pedestrians can be very dangerous, as a vehicle moving at any speed can cause significant injuries if they hit a person head on. Our roads are organized to minimize interaction between a car and a pedestrians, but crosswalks and poor sidewalks can still lead to pedestrian accidents. Most accidents are caused by drivers or pedestrians simply not paying attention. However, these accidents are easily avoidable if both drivers and pedestrians follow the law.

Laws vary from state to state, but most states assign the following duties to drivers and pedestrians:

Driver’s duties:

  1. Drivers must always stop for a pedestrian in the crosswalk, regardless of whether the pedestrian is in their lane.
  2. Drivers can never pass another driver who is stopped at a crosswalk.
  3. Drivers must always check if there are pedestrians crossing the adjacent road before making a right or left turn at a green light. The pedestrians always have the right of way.
  4. A driver has a duty to exercise due care to avoid any person on the roadway, regardless of whether they are responsibly following the law or not.
  5. Drivers are expected to drive carefully or stop when they encounter any children, elderly persons, confused individuals, or obviously intoxicated persons in the road.

Pedestrians duties:

  1. A pedestrian should be cautious and give cars ample time to yield when crossing the street. Avoid running into the street.
  2. A pedestrian must always walk on the sidewalk if there is one. If the road has no sidewalk, pedestrians should walk against traffic and as close to the shoulder as possible.
  3. Pedestrians have the right of way in all marked crosswalks. If there is no crosswalk, then pedestrians must yield to oncoming motor vehicles, unless they have already safely entered the roadway.

Generally speaking, drivers should always yield to pedestrians. If an accident does occur, the driver has a legal obligation to stop and make sure that the pedestrian is okay. If necessary, the driver should call an ambulance to take the pedestrian to the hospital for any injuries. Failure to do this can result in the driver being charged with hit and run, which is a felony.

If you have been involved in a car accident involving a pedestrian, you may want to contact an experienced car accident lawyer Dekalb County GA relies on to make sure that you fully understand your rights.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into pedestrian accidents.

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