Can Pedestrians Be Held At Fault For Automobile Accidents?
Mention an accident involving a driver and pedestrian and most people will automatically assume the driver was clearly at fault. It's not an unreasonable assumption, especially considering the circumstances and obvious disparities involved. However, there are times when a pedestrian could be held at fault for their role in an accident involving a motorist.
Pedestrians and Drivers Can Share Fault
Being at the wheel of a motorized vehicle weighing several thousand pounds has its responsibilities, especially when it comes to avoiding collisions with vulnerable pedestrians. As a result, every driver is obligated to exercise their duty of reasonable care whenever they encounter pedestrian traffic. This means that a driver must take extra caution and maintain strict control of their vehicle whenever there are pedestrians present.
Despite drivers having a huge responsibility when it comes to looking out for the safety and well-being of pedestrians, this doesn't mean that the average pedestrian can ignore his or her safety. Pedestrians not only have a duty of reasonable care to exercise whenever they encounter motorized traffic, but they're also obligated to follow all applicable traffic rules. Not following these rules can put pedestrians at risk of sharing the blame for an accident with a motorist.
Scenarios Where Pedestrians Can Be Found At Fault
Although pedestrians generally have the right-of-way under most traffic scenarios, it only applies as long as the pedestrian follows all applicable traffic rules and regulations. Otherwise, they could risk assuming most or even all of the blame for an accident involving a motorist.
For instance, a pedestrian who decides to jaywalk instead of crossing the street at a designated crosswalk could be held responsible if he or she is hit by a motorist in the process. Pedestrians can also be held at fault if they decide to ignore the red "Do Not Walk" signal at a designated crosswalk. Intoxicated pedestrians can also find themselves in trouble if they enter a roadway while inebriated and end up being struck by a passing vehicle in the process.
Pedestrians also lack right-of-way protections in areas where pedestrian traffic is prohibited. For instance, anyone who deliberately walks alongside or attempts to cross a highway that's closed to pedestrian traffic may find his or herself liable if they're struck by a passing vehicle.
Safety is Always Paramount
Whether you're on foot or behind the wheel, safety should always be a priority. Exercising the utmost caution when dealing with pedestrian or motorized traffic can help drivers and pedestrians avoid many situations that ultimately end in serious injury for pedestrians and considerable liability on all sides.
If you have more questions, contact a lawyer who offers personal injury services.