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Pedestrian Accidents and Crosswalks

By: The Igwe Firm
February 04, 2019

Lehigh County injury lawyers at The Igwe Firm help victims of pedestrian accidentsThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2016, close to 6,000 pedestrians died in road accidents. When people are walking outdoors, they can be vulnerable to getting hit by a motor vehicle. This can happen when someone is in a parking lot, on the sidewalk, exiting a car or bus, or walking along a crosswalk.

Since they are not protected with a helmet or other gear, the injuries to pedestrians can be very serious.

Crosswalks can be dangerous because both pedestrians and drivers may not be aware of the laws, which can create confusion as to who has the right of way. A crosswalk is usually a distinctly marked path that crosses a street at or near an intersection. Its purpose is to help pedestrians cross roads safely.

Who Has the Right of Way?

Every state has its own laws pertaining to crosswalks. In Pennsylvania, pedestrians always have the right of way, as long as they are abiding by the crosswalk and traffic signals. Pedestrians who walk on a crosswalk against a traffic light are breaking the law. This includes trying to cross when the “Don’t Walk” sign is flashing.

Even if there is no traffic light or stop sign, pedestrians still have the right of way. Drivers must always yield to these individuals. Also, if a vehicle is yielding to a person on a crosswalk and another car pulls up in back, that second car is prohibited from passing the stopped vehicle. Failing to yield can incur fines and points.

Some crosswalks may not be marked, which can increase the risk of accidents. Even if there are no clearly marked lines, the pedestrian still has the right of way, and drivers have to yield for them.

Other Pedestrian Crossings

If a pedestrian crosses a street somewhere other than at an intersection, they may not have the right of way. People that walk across in the middle of roads must yield to drivers. This is why it is so important for pedestrians to use designated crosswalks. These are placed in many areas for safety reasons, and should always be used, even if the person has to walk a bit farther to get to it.

Pedestrians should also stick to walking on sidewalks or shoulders, rather than in streets. If neither is an option, they should walk on the left, far from the road, and facing traffic.

Avoiding Crosswalk Accidents

Even though there are traffic signals at intersections, these do not guarantee safe crossings. Before crossing any intersection, pedestrians should check both ways before proceeding. The crossing should be made quickly and safely, and straight across. Crossing diagonally is not recommended.

People walking on streets can be just as distracted as drivers these days, from looking at their cellphones, listening to music, and even talking to someone walking with them.

Lehigh County Injury Lawyers at The Igwe Firm Help Victims of Pedestrian Accidents

If you or someone you care for has suffered an injury from a pedestrian accident, we can help get you the compensation you deserve. Contact an experienced Lehigh County injury lawyer at The Igwe Firm today. You can reach us at 215-278-9898 or contact us online for a free consultation. Our office is located in Philadelphia, and we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.

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