In 2019, 7,668 pedestrians were killed in both traffic and non-traffic accidents. On top of that, thousands more sustained injuries and damages. So even though the duty falls on drivers to ensure that they don’t put pedestrians at risk, that doesn’t mean that pedestrians can’t take the proper precautions to prevent an accident from happening.
As a pedestrian, you shouldn’t expect every driver on the road to yield to you or make your safety their top priority. So instead of becoming yet another statistic, our lawyers provide you with some tips that can help keep you safe and away from danger.
Why Pedestrian Accidents Happen
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that children and the elderly are more vulnerable to being involved in a fatal pedestrian accident. 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
Additionally, specific locations are more likely to be accident sites, with the vast majority of pedestrian fatalities occurring in high-density urban areas.
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Alabama Laws for Pedestrian Safety
Each party has rules of the road that must be obeyed 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 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 stops 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 (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.
Both sets of rules exist to ensure safety for both drivers and pedestrians. Unfortunately, these rules don’t always get followed and can lead to terrible accidents occurring.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians in Alabama
Our pedestrian accident lawyers here in Alabama recommend the following critical safety tips:
- Always follow the laws set by the state for pedestrians.
- Never assume that the road is clear when you cross. Always look both ways and only cross at designated areas.
- Always be proactive while crossing. Scan the roads to ensure that there aren’t any drivers that seem like they won’t yield to you.
- Be extra vigilant during the night.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If none are available, walk as far away from traffic as you can.
- Be especially careful near driveways or parking lots, as these places often have lots of blind spots.
Ultimately, keep a level head and use good judgment. Never take any unnecessary risks. Remember, one minute out of your day to wait for a walk signal on a crosswalk is much better than gambling with your life to save just a few seconds of time.
What Should I Do If I Get Hit As a Pedestrian?
If a negligent driver hits you as a pedestrian, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver. You should never have to pay for any of your damages out of your own pocket. After gathering evidence and receiving medical attention, the first thing you should do is to contact our pedestrian accident lawyers immediately.
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Talk to Our Alabama Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
There is rarely a clear-cut answer in an accident case 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.
Morris Bart, LLC has experienced litigators who know how to fight for your rights when you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident. Get a free consultation with us today. Contact us online or over the phone 24/7 to schedule an appointment.
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