Residents may recall hearing about a string of pedestrian accidents within the past few months. One particular stretch of Highway recently experienced four of these accidents within four months.
At least one of the pedestrian accidents resulted in fatal injuries. In November, a 16 year-old girl died after being struck by a vehicle while attempting to cross the highway.
More than 40,000 drivers travel on the highway each day. In addition, it is a popular pedestrian route due to its proximity to several local stores and businesses. Unfortunately, this heavy traffic also makes it a prime location for both pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents. Because of this, the Department of Transportation plans to conduct a study examining the highway with the goal of making it safer for pedestrians.
Many area residents have suggested that building an overpass to separate pedestrian and vehicle traffic could increase safety. The mayor also supports the idea of an overpass. He says including the highway in a current bridge and overpass project would resolve numerous safety issues. They are also working on a plan to develop a separate road off of the highway designed to shield pedestrians from traffic.
Proving negligence in a pedestrian accident
Sadly, pedestrian accidents are occurring more frequently. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, over 78,000 pedestrians are injured after being struck by a vehicle each year.
A pedestrian injured by a vehicle may recover damages if the negligence of another caused or played a role in the accident. All drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others on the road. Those who don’t can be held liable for the injuries they cause. Examples of not using reasonable care include:
Not using turn signals
Driving in poor weather conditions
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Texting while driving
Driving while distracted
Steps to take after a pedestrian accident
There are several practical steps that an injured pedestrian should take after a car accident. If it is safe to do so, victims should stay at the scene and promptly call the police. In addition, they should obtain the names and basic information of everyone involved in the accident, including all witnesses.
It is common for drivers to attempt to place blame on the pedestrian. Since fault will need to be sorted out, victims should not make any statements about the accident except to answer questions from the police. This means refraining from discussing the incident individuals not involved in the accident or with insurance companies. Since these statements could be used to assign blame in the future, it is best to talk to a lawyer before making any statements. The lawyer will be able to review the facts of the case to help make sure the victim’s rights are well-protected.