Drivers of cars sometimes forget that they are required to share the road with more than just other cars. Motorcyclists and bicyclists can be seriously injured by negligent drivers, but the most vulnerable people on the roads are those who are the least protected - pedestrians. A pedestrian accident involving a motor vehicle is almost certain to cause serious injuries to the pedestrian. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 4,743 pedestrians were killed traffic accidents in 2012 and 76,000 were injured.
Drivers Fail to Yield to Pedestrians in Crosswalks
One of the refrains constantly repeated by driving education instructors across the country is that “pedestrians have the right of way,” yet very few drivers fully understand what that means. Most understand that when there is a controlled intersection with a crosswalk painted on the ground and lighted “walk” and “do not walk” signs, pedestrians have the right to cross when they have a walk sign. What a large number of drivers fail to understand is that pedestrians have similar rights at most intersections, even if there are no markings or traffic signals present. There is such a thing as an “unmarked crosswalk.” An unmarked crosswalk exists at an intersection that is not marked. Pedestrians are lawfully allowed to cross at these intersections, and traffic is supposed to stop to allow them to do so. Pedestrians are not allowed to walk out in front of a car that does not reasonably have time to stop, but if a vehicle does has reasonable time to stop and it does not, then its driver may be liable for negligence.
Drivers Fail to Pay Attention When Making Left-Hand Turns
Left hand turns are risky for everyone. Drivers tend to be looking for oncoming cars when they are making left turns, and when they finally see that there is no oncoming vehicle traffic they make their move while they have their chance. The problem is that, in their rush to make it through the intersection they often fail to look for smaller occupants of the road like pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. This means that left-hand turns are prime opportunities for accidents.
Drivers are Driving While Distracted
One of the biggest issues in driver negligence today is distracted driving. Cell phone use is one factor, but it is far from the only thing that can distract a driver. Fiddling with MP3 players or radios, eating while driving, and attending to personal care when driving are just a few of the risky behaviors some drivers engage in. All drivers have a duty to pay attention to driving and when they breach that duty they cause accidents and injuries.
Driving While Drunk or Drugged Puts Pedestrians at Risk
Fortunately, drunk and drugged driving is more common late at night when there are fewer pedestrians out and about. No matter what time of day it is, there are at least some impaired drivers on the road. These drivers often have slower reaction times and they can have shortened attention spans. Both of these problems can put pedestrians at serious risk.
We would like to see as few pedestrians as possible being injured by negligent drivers. However, when it does happen it is important that the pedestrian speak with an experienced attorney like the Atlanta accident lawyers at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC. Call us today at (404)869-8600 and we will set up a time to discuss your situation free of charge.