Pedestrians and Auto Accidents

September 15, 2015

When driving on the road, there are many perils to be aware of. These hazards can range from obstructions to other motorists, and can even include pedestrians. While most people think that automobile accidents are only limited to accidents between two vehicles, pedestrians can be victims just as easily as drivers can. One thing that can be tricky to deal with, however, is figuring out just who a pedestrian is. Typically, a pedestrian is a person on foot, who is engaging in any number of activities, including but not limited to:

  • walking;
  • running;
  • jogging; and
  • hiking.

Where and When

According to a study performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it is estimated that over 4,700 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2013 alone. In addition, it is also estimated that approximately 66,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic accidents in 2013. It is also estimated that in South Carolina, there were approximately 760 fatalities sustained as a result of an automobile accident. While most people are aware that an auto accident involving pedestrians can happen almost anywhere, there are some places and times that prove to be more hazardous for pedestrians.

For example, in the NHTSA study, researchers found that more pedestrian accidents occurred in urban areas as opposed to rural areas. In addition, more accidents occurred at non-intersections than at intersections. Researchers also found that more traffic accidents involving pedestrians occurred at night, as opposed to during the daytime.

While individuals might take certain steps to protect themselves, there is no indication that everyone will take the same steps. Surprisingly enough, alcohol use was involved in at least 49 percent of all reported automobile accidents. Interestingly enough, the alcohol involvement included accidents involving the intoxication of the driver and the pedestrian.

Duties

While an accident can happen anywhere, each party has a duty to uphold when travelling on public roads. Just as pedestrians have right of way in South Carolina, they are also required by law to obey traffic signals, and to walk responsibly. Avoiding crosswalks and crossing against traffic signals could not only lead to serious injuries for a pedestrian, but could also prevent the pedestrian from recovering the monetary compensation necessary to assist in the recovery process.

That being said, there is only so much a pedestrian can do, and automotive operators must also be aware that they are also responsible for their actions behind the wheel. As such, an automobile driver involved in a pedestrian-automobile accident could sustain severe penalties, especially since pedestrians have little to no protection from the impact of a head-on collision.

Contact an Attorney

Dealing with automobile accidents can be a stressful and confusing process at times. If you or someone you love has been hit by a motor vehicle while walking, the assistance of an experienced attorney can help you protect your rights. Contact the David Aylor Law Offices in Walterboro for a free case evaluation and to discover the actions you can take to pursue recovery.

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