Crosswalks are a common feature in urban areas. They are designed to provide a safe path for pedestrians to use when crossing from one side of the road to the other. They can be marked with lines or be unmarked.
The law at crosswalks
Crosswalks are usually marked in order to change the behavior of motorists using the road at that particular point. When motorists see the markings, they are supposed to drive carefully in anticipation of pedestrians who by law have the right of way at crosswalks.
Crosswalks may have traffic lights as well as markings. When the lights are green, the driver can go through the crosswalk. The driver will assume that no pedestrians will walk out onto the street in front of their vehicle when the driver has a green light.
Drivers are also required to be cautious when making turns at intersections. A driver should keep an eye out for the pedestrians who are walking parallel to his vehicle in the same direction before making the turn. This will help them avoid knocking down a pedestrian who may enter the crosswalk as the motorist turns into that part of the intersection.
Why pedestrian accidents occur at crosswalks
If pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks, one would expect that pedestrian accidents at crosswalks would be few. The opposite is true. Crosswalks are the scene of many pedestrian accidents. These accidents are often a result of the reasons listed below:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both
- Poor weather conditions
- Poor road conditions
- Failure by the driver to yield
- Failure by the pedestrian to observe traffic laws e.g. not waiting for the walk sign
- Vehicle malfunction
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted walking
Pedestrian accidents typically do not occur as a result of intentional behavior on the part of the driver. However, the results of such an accident can be catastrophic for the pedestrian.
Impact of pedestrian accidents
There are traffic laws in all states that govern how crosswalks should be used. These regulations are specific about how pedestrians should cross the street. They are also specific about how drivers should enter intersections and yield to pedestrians. These laws are designed to ensure the safety of both pedestrians and motorists.
Injuries resulting from pedestrian accidents are often serious. Pedestrian accidents can also be fatal. If you or someone you know has been involved in a pedestrian accident, get in touch with an law firm that handles pedestrian accident claims today to file a claim for compensation.