Who is Mostly at Fault in Pedestrian Accidents?

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) put forth data that indicates that 2020 had the most significant annual increase ever in fatal accidents involving pedestrians. Perhaps, the COVID-19 pandemic had some effect on this increase since more people were on the road. Many of the younger drivers who would usually be in school were dangerous as they were speeding or drunk and/or under the influence of drugs. Drivers could have been distracted by others in the vehicles with them. Also, because of the infrastructure issues in the country, fewer people walk or ride bicycles, putting more vehicles on the roads during the pandemic.

A report from Governors Highway Safety Association states 3,441 pedestrians suffered death in traffic accidents in the first half of 2021. In this report, the number of pedestrian deaths represents a 17% increase over the same period of the previous year. Statistics show that pedestrians are one and a half (1.5) times more likely to die in accidents with cars than are the occupants of vehicles. In a report from Governors Highway Safety Association, 3,441 pedestrians suffered death in traffic accidents in the first half of 2021. This figure represents a 17% increase over the same period of the previous year.

Accidents with Drivers and Pedestrians

While pedestrians are expected to exercise concern and care for their safety by following traffic signs and signals, determining who is at fault if people are struck by a car at a crosswalk is basic because motor vehicles must yield to anyone using a crosswalk according to Section 1151 of New York’s Traffic Law Pertaining to Pedestrians and Bicycles. Still, pedestrians must demonstrate that they are concerned for their safety by adhering to traffic laws and obeying signs and traffic signals.

The fault usually falls on the driver should a pedestrian be struck by a vehicle. When a vehicle strikes a pedestrian on a crosswalk, determining fault is simple since vehicles must yield to anyone using a crosswalk, Should there be no crosswalks when a pedestrian is hit, the driver may still be at fault. Pedestrians are usually only at fault if their behavior is judged to be extremely negligent. Then, they can be held accountable if the driver who hit them did not violate any traffic laws. However, if the pedestrian, for instance, walks across a street with “No Crossing” signs on display, the driver’s behavior does not violate the law.

Nevertheless, the injured pedestrian may still be eligible for some compensation because his/her infraction was not highly negligent. Sometimes, too, accidents occur because traffic lights are broken or some other condition interferes. In those cases, judgments are more lenient.

Can a Pedestrian be Faulted in an Automobile Accident?

The short answer is yes—but usually only partially so. For instance, comparative negligence states determine fault and award damages based on negligence. In cases where pedestrians have acted recklessly or carelessly, they may be responsible for a percentage of the fault.

Those who have been involved in accidents involving an automobile and a pedestrian can obtain advice and information by contacting pedestrian accident lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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