According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, more than 5,000 people die in the United States each year from collisions with motor vehicles. This alarming statistic affects Washington residents as pedestrians become victims of crashes when drivers fail to follow the rules of the road and some of the laws that drivers must comply with.
It is the duty of drivers in Washington to avoid colliding with pedestrians and to take preventative steps, such as using their horns, to alert pedestrians to their presence. Additionally, drivers must yield to pedestrians who are in intersections at crosswalks. Such crosswalks may be marked or unmarked, and drivers must permit pedestrians to get from one side of the road to the other without disrupting their movements.
Pedestrians are responsible for their own safety as well. For example, a pedestrian is not permitted to run out in front of a vehicle, as such action gives the driver no warning that they will need to come to a stop. Additionally, pedestrians are required to use sidewalks when they are present so as to avoid coming into contact with motor vehicles in roadways.
Too often pedestrian accidents happen when drivers are distracted from the important duty of watching the road. When they allow distractions to get the better of them and cause damaging and dangerous pedestrian accidents, victims may be able to take steps to protect their rights. Personal injury lawsuits may provide victims with options for seeking their damages and restoring their lives to what they were prior to their collisions.