Most of the roads in the United States are designed with motor vehicles in mind. This makes sense, since most people need to drive regularly to get to and from work, to run errands, or to engage in other activities. However, there are many other people that also need to use the roads, and drivers should take care to act safely and prevent injuries to people on foot. During the month of October, safety advocates highlight the risks faced by pedestrians and provide guidance on the steps people can take to prevent injuries in pedestrian accidents. However, the messages that are often presented to the public contain some confusing information about who is primarily responsible for these types of accidents.
Myths About Pedestrian Safety
When government organizations such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) discuss pedestrian safety, they often place equal amounts of emphasis on actions that pedestrians can take to stay safe as they do on ensuring that drivers act safely to avoid injuring pedestrians. However, a negligent driver is much more likely to be responsible for a collision than a person who is on foot.
It is important to realize that many of the safety recommendations for pedestrians are based on myths, such as:
Pedestrians need to wear bright, reflective clothing – While pedestrians may be able to increase their visibility to drivers, they should not be required to do so in order to share the road safely with vehicles. Drivers should always be aware of pedestrians walking near the road, and if a pedestrian is not visible when they are acting legally, this is not the pedestrian’s fault. In addition to the driver, other parties may be to blame, such as the manufacturers of defective headlights or a city that did not provide adequate lighting near a dangerous road.
Distracted walking is just as dangerous as distracted driving – Pedestrians are often advised not to use electronic devices or listen to music on headphones while walking, but these activities are not against the law. Distracted driving, on the other hand, is illegal, and it is responsible for thousands of car accidents and wrongful deaths every year.
Pedestrians are at fault for being injured if they are intoxicated – While pedestrians may place themselves at risk if they attempt to walk home after drinking alcohol, this is not illegal, and in some cases, it is the most responsible option for those who may not have other methods of transportation available. As with distracted driving, drunk driving is very dangerous, and it is likely to cause serious injuries or the deaths of others.
Children are responsible for their own safety when walking to school – While parents and school officials will want to encourage children to act safely and responsibly, it is much more important for adults to ensure they are driving safely in areas where children are present. In most cases, drivers who exceed the speed limits in school zones or otherwise drive unsafely around children are at fault for pedestrian accidents in which children are the victims.
Contact Our Peoria Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
If you, your child, or another member of your family have been struck by a vehicle while on foot, Kanoski Bresney can help you determine your best options for pursuing financial compensation. We will work to ensure that a negligent driver or other liable parties are held responsible for the harm your family has suffered. Call our Springfield pedestrian injury lawyers at 888-826-8682 to arrange a free consultation today.