Pedestrians are simply no match for heavy, motorized vehicles traveling at any speed. Distracted drivers are a particular risk for people on foot. When a driver fails to notice a pedestrian altogether, the resulting injuries can be catastrophic.
Rights of pedestrians
According to the law, if you are crossing the street at a marked crosswalk or at a traffic signal with a green light or walk sign, you have the right of way. In addition, if you are walking along a roadway, drivers must slow down until there is an opportunity to pass you safely. Some city ordinances may require you to cross streets only at marked intersections.
Even if you were entirely within your rights as a pedestrian, this is of little comfort when you have suffered severe injuries in an automobile accident. You may be able to demand accountability and compensation from negligent drivers with the help of a skilled professional.
Proving a driver was distracted
The attention of drivers can be taken off the road by any number of distractions, including:
- Cellphone use
- GPS devices
- Car stereos
- Other passengers
You may not have to provide solid proof that the driver was distracted to succeed on your personal injury claim. However, your claim will be stronger if you have some evidence of distracted driving. You may be able to use cellphone records, eyewitness accounts and camera footage to strengthen your case.
Exercise caution when out on a walk
Drivers have a legal duty to share the road with pedestrians. However, distracted drivers are commonplace, and who had the right of way is not much of a concern if you find yourself laid up in a hospital.
While some accidents are unavoidable, you can help protect yourself when you are on foot by paying attention to the traffic around you. Defensive walking can be just as important as defensive driving.