As a pedestrian, it is your duty to understand the laws of the road in order to keep yourself safe. Unfortunately, even when you follow the rules, accidents can happen.
In Arizona, the numbers of pedestrian accidents are exceptionally high. From 2013 to 2017, pedestrian deaths jumped more than 40%. In fact, in 2016, Arizona was third in the nation for pedestrian deaths.
Know the Law
Many pedestrians mistakenly believe that they always have the right-of-way when walking among vehicles. However, that is not always the case.
Cars approaching crosswalks must provide the right-of-way to pedestrians who are passing in the half of the crosswalk that is in front of their vehicle. If a pedestrian is close to approaching the same lane that that vehicle is approaching, the vehicle must come to a full stop and allow the pedestrian to pass.
Although pedestrians are not required by law to approach crosswalks with abundant caution, they should. Arizona law does say, that at no time, even when entering a crosswalk, should a pedestrian step out so quickly in front of a vehicle that the vehicle does not have the time to come to a full stop.
Pedestrians should also know that if there is a sidewalk present, it is against the law for pedestrians to walk in the roadway, even if they are keeping far to the shoulder and not walking into a vehicle’s path. If there is no sidewalk provided, pedestrians may walk on the roadway.
While many believe that everyone on the road must travel in the same direction as traffic, that is actually incorrect. Pedestrians who are walking in a road must travel the opposite direction of vehicles.
Top Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Although no two accidents are the same, there are a few common causes that can be found throughout the majority of pedestrian accidents in Arizona.
In many cases, a negligent driver is to blame. The driver may be engaged in careless or reckless behavior.
Some of the more common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving, such as looking at your phone, eating or adjusting the radio;
- Drunk driving;
- Texting while driving; and
- Tired or fatigued drivers.
A serious pedestrian accident can occur when a motorist ignores or fails to notice a red light or stop sign, approaches an intersection too fast, or fails to keep a proper lookout for pedestrians.
Types of Injuries
As no two accidents are the same, no two victims suffer from the same injuries. The type and severity of harm suffered is dependent on many factors, such as speed, pre-existing conditions of victim, size of vehicle, etc.
However, some of the more typical injuries can include:
- Head injury;
- Neck and back injuries;
- Broken bones;
- Concussions; and
4 Steps to Take if you are a Pedestrian Struck by a Car
- Call the police immediately. If you are injured and unable to do so, ask a bystander to call the police. It is critical that you have a police officer investigate your accident. The police report will be crucial evidence in obtaining compensation for your injuries. Make sure that the police are able to record the names, addresses, insurance information, and license plate number of all vehicles involved. Also, make sure to record the information of any witnesses to the accident.
- Seek medical attention immediately. Injuries, both minor and major, may not be immediately apparent. Never take a chance on your health and well-being. Further, no matter how minor the injury, schedule a follow-up exam to ensure that additional complications do not arise.
- Contact your insurance company briefly. Simply call your insurance company and tell them that you have been involved in a pedestrian accident. You should give the basic facts, such as the date, location, name of the driver, and whether a police report was filed. Too often, victims voluntarily provide information to an insurance company that ends up hurting their accident later on. Therefore, direct any questions to your attorney.
- Contact an experienced accident attorney. Do not simply assume that you will be reimbursed for your accident. Take strong legal action.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one were struck by a motor vehicle while walking or running, contact the Yearin Law Office Today. Our experienced team will work closely with you to determine the intricacies of your claim. Our lawyers can assist with a wide range of serious legal issues, including insurance claims, investigation of the accident, and negotiation. Call (480) 502-0708 today for a free consultation!