Pedestrians have no protection if they’re struck by a vehicle. They’re far more likely to be injured and killed in an accident. Knowing the principal causes of pedestrian accidents can protect you if you have to walk along the roadways.
Pedestrian safety isn’t a one-way street. Pedestrians have lost their compensation because they did something negligent and put themselves at risk. We’ll include some tips on how to protect yourself from claims that you were at fault for your pedestrian accident, as well as how Zanes Law might be able to help.
Drunk Driving and Public Intoxication
The CDC claims that around 47% of all pedestrian fatalities involve intoxication, whether by the driver, the pedestrian, or both. They also claim that around 33% of pedestrian fatalities have a pedestrian that meets the legal limit of intoxication.
Walking along a road while drunk can easily cause an accident. It takes one misstep or stumble into traffic for a victim to get hit. You might think you’re safe because you’re not behind the wheel, but the statistics clearly show that drunk walking can be hazardous to your health.
Also, it’s dangerous to your compensation. If the insurance companies can prove you were drunk during your accident, it will be much harder to get full compensation. Thanks to Texas’ comparative negligence laws, you could lose up to half of your settlement.
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According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, distracted driving causes another 10% of fatal pedestrian accidents. Distracted driving is not just texting while driving. It’s also eating, operating GPS, or adjusting the radio dial.
Anything that takes your eyes off the road is a distraction and can create a dangerous and negligent situation. The same also goes for pedestrians. If someone walking on the road staring into their smartphone walked into traffic, that’s also an accident caused by distraction.
That pedestrian may not get charged with distracted driving, but insurers could use their actions against them in an insurance settlement or civil trial.
Poor Weather and Visibility
Weather and light are major contributing reasons for pedestrian accidents. Poor weather can reduce visibility and make it harder for vehicles to stop in time once they see a pedestrian.
A driver might not see someone walking next to the road at night and might even miss traffic signage before it’s too late. Most pedestrian deaths take place after nightfall. Drivers must be extra vigilant for people walking after the sun goes down. Dark conditions and the glare of lights can make it hard to see pedestrians.
If you must walk the roads at night, help drivers see you. Wear light-colored or reflective clothing and stay as far as you can off the side of the road. Also, walk toward the direction of traffic as much as you can. This will help you see cars as they come so you can move out of the way.
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Crossing the Street
A little under 3/4ths of pedestrian accidents happen while crossing the street. The odds of an accident rise if pedestrians cross at an unmarked crosswalk or with no traffic lights. A pedestrian might read traffic flow incorrectly and step into a dangerous situation.
Drivers making left-hand turns must be vigilant at intersections with foot traffic. Even if the light is green, drivers have to yield to pedestrians in the roadway. If you have to cross at an unmarked intersection, be very careful of vehicles turning left.
Pedestrians should never think that the right-of-way rules always protect them if they get hit. A left-turn green signal should only turn on when the pedestrian signals clearly show that it’s unsafe to cross. Going against the signals could throw the fault back in their faces.
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Crossing Roads with a High-Speed Limit
Finally, there are some roads that pedestrians may not cross. Roads with very high-speed limits, like freeways, are barred from foot traffic. High-speed roads are meant for vehicular traffic, and you put yourself at a lot of risk trying to cross them.
Pedestrians must be mindful of speed limits, even if they may cross. A car that looks far away in a 45 MPH zone will come much faster than one on a slower road, and speeding vehicles can come up to you faster than you think! Give yourself more time to cross if you must cross a major road in your town.
Now that you know the main causes of pedestrian accidents, you can keep yourself as safe as possible when walking down the road. However, being a pedestrian always carries risks. If you get hit in a pedestrian accident, contact Zanes Law for a free consultation.