Hit by a car in Alabama: Danger indicators & rules of the road for pedestrians.
In 2014, a pedestrian was killed by a car or truck every two hours, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which goes on to report that, “on average, 14 percent of all traffic fatalities and an estimated three percent of those injured in traffic crashes were pedestrians.” (Traffic Safety Facts: Pedestrians, April 2014). In 2015, the latest figures available, there were 5,376 pedestrian fatalities, an increase from 4,884 in 2014. Our advice? Get proactive and avoid becoming a statistic!
Danger indicators for pedestrians: who, where, when and why.
Anyone can be hit by a car, but NHTSA data shows that children and the elderly are more vulnerable to being involved in a fatal pedestrian accident. Additionally, there are certain locations more likely to be accident sites, with the vast majority of pedestrian fatalities occurring in high-density urban areas such as downtown areas or within metropolitan area borders. Pedestrian accidents are also more likely to occur at night.
As with all traffic accidents, pedestrian accidents have many different causes, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Distracted drivers (texting, phone use)
- Drivers not yielding to pedestrian right of way
- Pedestrians jaywalking (crossing streets at points other than designated crosswalks)
- Drivers speeding or losing control of a vehicle
- Drivers disobeying traffic signals
Personal injury attorney Ken Altman of Morris Bart gives his three cents on distracted drivers:
Alabama laws for pedestrian safety. Get to know them:
Each party has rules of the road that must be obeyed in order to minimize the chance of a vehicle-pedestrian accident occurring; however, the ultimate responsibility lands on the driver of a vehicle to exercise due care in order to avoid such a collision if and when at all possible.
Rules of the road for pedestrians:
- Contrary to popular belief, pedestrians do not automatically have the right of way in all situations. Just like drivers, pedestrians must obey all traffic signals specific to them (AL Code 32-5A-210).
- Additionally, pedestrians cannot leave a designated crosswalk when a vehicle is so close as to constitute an immediate danger (AL Code 32-5A-211b).
- If a sidewalk is available for use, a pedestrian must use the sidewalk and not the adjacent roadway (AL Code 32-5A-215).
Rules of the road for drivers:
- Drivers must exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian (AL 32-5A-213).
- If another driver is stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross at a crosswalk or at an intersection, any other driver shall not overtake or pass such a stopped vehicle (AL 32-5A-211).
- Drivers shall yield the right of way to any blind pedestrian carrying a white cane or accompanied by a guide dog or any other person who provides notice that they are in the process of training an accompanying guide dog (AL 32-5A-220).
- While pedestrians have a responsibility to obey the law, drivers have the ultimate responsibility to avoid a collision with a pedestrian if at all possible, even when the pedestrian is in the wrong.
If you get hit by a vehicle, get a good lawyer.
In an accident case, there is rarely a clear-cut answer as to who is at fault between a vehicle and a pedestrian – which makes it all the more important to have a skilled accident attorney to argue your case. We’re experienced litigators who know how to fight for your rights when you’ve been injured in an accident.