How do motorists cause pedestrian accidents?Robert A. Solomon, P.C.
People in New Jersey may not recognize it, but it is likely that they are a pedestrian at some point every day. After all, pedestrians are not limited to those walking on streets and sidewalks. Even walking through a parking lot at work or a store makes someone a pedestrian. And, being a pedestrian is not without its risks — specifically the risk of being hit by a car.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017, nearaly 6,000 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents. This means that, on average, one person was killed every 88 minutes in a pedestrian accident. Motorists have a legal duty of care to drive reasonably under the circumstances, and this includes being aware of pedestrians in their vicinity.
Drivers who do not keep an eye out for pedestrians run the risk of causing an auto-pedestrian accident. This is especially true at night or during bad weather conditions, when it may be more difficult to see a pedestrian.
Motorists must also yield to a pedestrian’s right of way at crosswalks and must not block crosswalks. Blocking a crosswalk not only forces pedestrians to walk in traffic but also makes it difficult for other motorists to see the pedestrian crossing the street. Similarly, motorists should not pass other motorists in crosswalks, as they might not see a pedestrian crossing the street.
Drunk driving should, of course, be avoided as should speeding, especially in school zones and other areas where children are present. Motorists must not run red lights or stop signs at intersections. Finally, if motorists do not look behind them when reversing, they may not see a pedestrian and could wind up hitting them.
As this shows, there are many ways a motorist can breach their duty of care towards a pedestrian and cause an auto-pedestrian accident. If a pedestrian is hit and suffers damages as a result, they may want to determine if they can pursue a personal injury claim based on negligence. Pedestrians who have been struck by an automobile should seek the help they need to make informed decisions regarding their case.