Pedestrian Rights in Car-Related Accidents
Car accidents involving pedestrians have the potential to cause severe injuries. As a result, drivers should always avoid pedestrians on the right. It is also important for drivers to remember that provided a pedestrian is obeying a reasonable duty of care, he or she still has a right to be walking across the road. To get an idea of how serious pedestrian accidents can be, the National Highway Safety Association reports that approximately 5,000 pedestrians are killed each year due to motor vehicle-related accidents. If you are a pedestrian who is injured in a car accident, it is important to obtain the assistance of a skilled attorney.
The Responsibility of Motor Vehicle Drivers
Persons operating a motor vehicle have a duty to act in a reasonable manner. This duty extends to passengers, drivers, and pedestrians. Drivers who fail at this duty are considered to have committed negligence. Some of the most common ways in which drivers can operate their vehicle in a negligent manner include distracted driving, failing to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks, ignoring traffic signs, and speeding.
The Duty of Pedestrians to Exercise Reasonable Care
In addition to motor vehicle drivers, pedestrians also have a duty to exercise a reasonable amount of care. This standard requires pedestrians to use the same level care as drivers to avoid danger. One of the most common ways in which pedestrians fail to uphold this duty is stopping in the middle of intersections.
When courts rule that a pedestrian is partially to blame for an accident, this relationship is referred to by the legal system as contributory negligence. Some pedestrian factors that are found to constitute contributory negligence include failing to use crosswalks, ignoring traffic signals, and running into traffic.
The Pedestrian Right of Way
Motor vehicle drivers who do not yield the right of way to a pedestrian when proceeding through crosswalks can create deadly accidents. As a result, motor vehicle drivers must stop if pedestrians are crossing the road. Even if pedestrians are not near a designated crosswalk or traffic signal, vehicle drivers must still stop for them.
The Right to a Clear Crosswalk
Drivers must stop their vehicles either before or at the painted crossway or traffic signal because this designated area is intended for pedestrians.
The Right to a Safe Area
Motor vehicle drivers must reduce their speed when approaching a pedestrian area. This is important because pedestrians have a low survival rate if they are struck by a moving vehicle.
The Right to Remain Safe While Crossing the Road
Pedestrians should always cross the road at designated areas, but if they cross the road at an unmarked section they still have the right to remain safe. As a result, drivers must exercise due care to make that sure that pedestrians remain safe.
Contact a New Jersey Accident Attorney
If you have been harmed by the negligence of a driver as a pedestrian, it is important to know what your rights are. It is also important to speak with a New Jersey accident attorney at Ferrara Law who knows how to fight for the compensation that you deserve.