Both drivers and pedestrians have rights and responsibilities on the roadways of America. But, there are specific rights that pedestrians have that should keep them safe. When a car does not follow the laws and injures a pedestrian, there are legal ramifications, and the pedestrian or their family has the right to fair compensation.
If a pedestrian is not following the rules and gets hit by a car, their rights to compensation might be affected. Getting legal help to sort through the complicated driver and pedestrian legal responsibilities and rights can make a difference.
Getting Legal Help When a Pedestrian/Driver Accident Happens
It does not matter what language a person speaks or where they come from when it comes to dealing with pedestrian injuries from cars or trucks. Law firms often have associates that can help non-English speaking clients. Help with abogado de accidentes de auto is possible with the correct law firm. People in Texas have legal help with car accidents and pedestrian injuries when they are more comfortable speaking Spanish.
It is often confusing and difficult to get fair compensation for car or pedestrian accidents that are someone else’s fault. Insurance companies might try to deny claims or offer far too little compensation. They may claim the accident was all or part of the victim’s fault.
Not knowing the complicated Texas traffic laws can leave victims at the mercy of unscrupulous insurers or their lawyers. Getting good legal representation from a firm that takes the extra steps to speak your preferred language is important.
Pedestrian Rights For Safety on Streets and Sidewalks
There are rights that should protect pedestrians on streets and sidewalks. These rights should be respected by vehicle drivers to avoid pedestrian accidents, injury, and death.
1. Motorists are required to yield the right-of-way at marked crosswalks and at intersections or corners. Motorists not stopping for pedestrians on walkways is the number one cause of pedestrian deaths. Even drivers who are turning are obligated to stop pedestrians in crosswalks.
2. The crosswalk is the section of any roadway set aside for pedestrian traffic. The law requires traffic to stop behind the line of stop signs or traffic signals to allow pedestrians’ unimpeded crosswalk use.
3. Pedestrians have the right not to be hit by a speeding vehicle. Motorists that drive at unsafe speeds increase the risk of hitting pedestrians and of traffic fatalities. There are traffic laws requiring motorists to reduce speed when approaching crosswalks to ensure pedestrian safety.
4. Pedestrians have a right not to be hit in the roadway. Even though pedestrians should use crosswalks and intersections, they should not be struck on any portion of the roadway. By law, motorists are supposed to exercise caution and ensure pedestrian safety no matter where they are on the roadway.
5. Pedestrians should have the right to safely use sidewalks. Bicycles should be using the street, not sidewalks.
Pedestrians Should Take Precautions
Pedestrians must also exercise caution when walking along streets or crossing streets. This may include:
1. Since distracted and aggressive driving have become common, be cautious before stepping onto a street crosswalk. Look before crossing and do not assume all drivers will obey the safety laws and signs.
2. Get in the habit of using an outstretched arm to tell drivers you are going to cross the street.
3. When there are traffic signals and walk signs, obey the walk signs for safety. Some intersections have walk signals that you must push a button on to activate.
4. Be aware of vehicles close to you and make sure they see you and are slowing down before stepping into the street at a crosswalk. Don’t walk in front of a vehicle unless you see it preparing to stop.
5. Look both ways and over your shoulder to make sure all vehicles around you are slowing down.
6. When walking on streets without sidewalks always walk facing traffic and step off the street when vehicles approach.
7. Be aware and listen to traffic when crossing streets or walking on a road. This means do not listen to music, text, or talk on your cell phone.
8. If you are walking at night wear light clothing, reflective clothes, and carry a flashlight to be more visible to drivers.
9. Finally, avoid alcohol consumption if you will be walking along roadways or using crosswalks.
10. Make eye contact with motorists at crosswalks whenever possible and wear clothing that makes you more visible.
Pedestrian safety is not always guaranteed because of distracted drivers and drivers that do not follow traffic rules and safety rules. There may even be impaired drivers. Because of this, every pedestrian should take steps to ensure their own safety by obeying traffic rules and by being cautious when walking along roads or crossing streets at intersections.
Pedestrians must be super aware of drivers around them and of when it is safe to use a crosswalk. No one should dash out into moving traffic assuming all the cars will stop. Wait for a break in traffic on busy streets and cross when it is safe with cars stopped. If there is a walk or do not walk signal, only cross on the walking part. Be aware of walk signs that must be activated by pushing a button and then use it.
If a person knows they will be walking along streets and using crosswalks they should wear bright, visible clothing during the day and light and reflective clothing at night for visibility. Along with being visible, signal your intention to cross the street before stepping onto the crosswalk if cars are present. If a car looks like it is unwilling to stop, let it pass rather than risk injury.
If You Are Hit and Injured, Get Legal Help
If in spite of being cautious, you are hit by a car, call the police, get the car license number, and call a lawyer to help you get help with medical bills and damages. It may be hard to locate the driver if they leave the scene of the accident. The driver’s insurance company might be hard to work with. A lawyer representing the victim can get a better result.