It can be difficult – and dangerous – as a pedestrian walking to and from your destination. After all, roads are not designed with pedestrians in mind. They are designed to accommodate motor vehicles. Yet, the reality is that many people are on those same roads walking to their destination or walking to the train station or bus stop.
Each year, October is designated as National Pedestrian Safety Month as a way to highlight the risks that pedestrians face and what steps all commuters can take to help prevent pedestrian accidents.
Both pedestrians and motorists must take the appropriate steps to help minimize the risks of accident injuries and death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has come up with several safety recommendations that people should be aware of when they are walking in areas where there are vehicles. While pedestrians need to be aware of their surroundings, it is also imperative for drivers to be aware. The following are some misconceptions that some drivers have that could lead to tragedy:
- Many drivers think it is up to pedestrians to always wear reflective and bright clothing to remain safe. While it is a good idea for a pedestrian to try to increase their visibility when they are walking, it is still important for drivers to keep a sharp eye out for anyone that may be walking on or near the road. Even if a pedestrian was not wearing bright clothing, the driver would still be liable in the event of a pedestrian accident.
- Although there have been many warnings issued by safety advocates over the dangers of distracted walking, it is not illegal like distracted driving is. A pedestrian who is walking down the road listening to music on headphones who is hit by a driver is not responsible for that driver’s actions under most circumstances.
- The same holds true for a pedestrian who is under the influence of alcohol. It is not illegal to walk after drinking like it is to drive after drinking. In fact, the pedestrian may have been doing the responsible thing, leaving their vehicle at the bar and walking home because they have had too much to drink. There are some exceptions under public intoxication laws, but in most cases, a driver who hits a pedestrian who has been drinking and just walking home will be liable for damages the pedestrian’s injuries cause them.
Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you have may be able to pursue compensation that will address your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering, and more.
The pedestrian accident attorneys at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn have been advocating for victims and their families for more than 35 years, using all available resources to successfully obtain the best possible outcome under the circumstances of the case. Our attorneys have built solid reputations as skilled negotiators who will not hesitate to pursue litigation if the insurance company fails to negotiate in good faith. Call our office today to schedule a free case evaluation and find out what legal options you may have.
An experienced personal injury attorney with dual licensure in Virginia and North Carolina, Eric Washburn received a B.B.A. in Finance from James Madison University—initially worked in the information technology field before obtaining his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. Once an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Danville, Va., Eric has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as a “Rising Star” Super Lawyer in Virginia since 2014.