Tips for Texans - Pedestrian Safety - VB Attorneys
Written by Brian Beckcom
The dangers of being a pedestrian in Texas
Walking around in the Great State of Texas, is becoming more and more dangerous for pedestrians. A study conducted by the State Highway Safety Office showedTexas as having the third-highest number of pedestrian traffic fatalities in 2018. In a separate 2019 study, Smart Growth America had Texas ranked as the 8th deadliest place for pedestrians to walk in the United States.
Drivers must yield to pedestrians; all drivers are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians at both marked and unmarked crosswalks.
Drivers must stop for pedestrians as they are crossing the street, regardless of their position in the roadway.
Drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing sidewalks in front of alleyways, buildings, driveways, as well as public or private roads.
What is The Difference Between Marked & Unmarked Crosswalks
Drivers must always yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. Most people know a marked crosswalk when they see one, they are usually easily identifiable because of their painted white lines & ladder patterns. But you may be asking yourself, what is an unmarked crosswalk? Unmarked crosswalks are the extension of sidewalks that cross intersecting streets. These extensions are often unmarked and unpainted, leading to serious and sometimes fatal confusion. If there is ever a question as to what defines a crosswalk, it is always better to avoid making risky assumptions and yield to motor vehicles with utmost caution.
What can you do to avoid being hurt as a pedestrian?
Always make eye contact. Before using a crosswalk or traversing through an intersection, it is best practice to make eye contact with drivers. Simply waving, nodding, and creating eye contact allows you to confirm that the driver sees you and acknowledges where you are walking.
Always use sidewalks and marked paths if they are available to you. Whenever this is not possible, pedestrians should walk on the shoulder facing traffic.
Avoid walking at night when you can. When you must walk at night, you can increase the likeliness of being seen by wearing reflective clothing or by using your cell phone’s flashlight to make yourself more visible.
Just as distracted drivers can be a problem, so to can a distracted pedestrian. Do your best to be a responsible pedestrian, and this goes beyond “looking both ways” before crossing the street.
As a responsible and attentive pedestrian you should never be distracted on a cell phone when crossing streets or walking alongside busy roadways
As a responsible and attentive pedestrian you should never commute on foot under the influence, if you are too impaired to drive, chances are you are unsafe to walk alongside busy roadways and intersections. Either stay where you are, call a friend or family member to pick you up. Or use a ride-sharing app like Uber or Lyft.
What to do if you or someone you now has been injured in an accident as a pedestrian
Carefully assess your environment, ensure that you and others are not in any immediate danger and are standing somewhere safe & clear from busy roadways or intersections.
Get help. Call 911 and contact the nearest first responders in your area.
Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. It is important that you find an attorney with a winning track record of success handling similar cases.
Why should you contact a lawyer?
If you or someone you know has been injured after a pedestrian accident, it is important that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately after seeking medical care. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you recover from your injuries, pay for your medical bills, and hold the responsible parties accountable for the damages they’ve caused you. The sooner you speak with an experienced attorney, the sooner a team of experts can begin to preserve necessary evidence, recover incident and police reports, and protect your rights.
Do not be fooled, the person who struck you likely already has an attorney and they will work quickly and tirelessly to undermine your injuries and your case. Insurance companies will likely begin contacting you right away, sometimes even visiting you in the hospital before you even fully recover. They will attempt to persuade you into signing documents that will relinquish your rights or try to convince you to take way less money than you deserve. If you’ve been hurt they will do everything to avoid responsibility. At our law firm, we see these things happen all the time.