We don’t normally think of walking as dangerous, but if pedestrians and drivers fail to take simple precautions, walking can be deadly. According to the California Department of Public Health, over 13,500 pedestrians are injured in crashes each year. However, most accidents can be prevented by following pedestrian laws outlined in California Vehicle Code, Division 11, Chapter 5.
Keep in mind, pedestrian laws don’t only apply to those on foot but include a number of other modes of transportation, including motorized assistive devices, hoverboards, scooters, and skateboards (but not bicycles). Whether you are traveling on foot or on wheels, understanding pedestrian laws are there to keep everyone safe.
When Do You Have the Right-of-Way?
Pedestrians may cross the road at any marked or unmarked intersection. Motorists must reduce speed and stop if necessary, and any motorist who is following must do the same and not pass the stopped vehicle. If a pedestrian is disabled, a senior, or with children, a longer amount of crossing time must be given.
Pedestrians also have the right-of-way while crossing any sidewalk. Motorists may not pass in front of a pedestrian in a business or residential driveway; they must completely stop and allow the pedestrian time to cross.
What Are Your Pedestrian Duties?
Just as drivers must adhere to certain laws, pedestrians are smart to remain vigilant. When crossing an intersection, suddenly veering off of the curb or running in front of a car may result in the pedestrian being held responsible for a potential crash. Furthermore, never assume a driver will stop or slow down. There are too many distracted drivers on the road to trust they are being safe.
Who Is At Fault If You’re in a Crash?
If you’re involved in a pedestrian crash lawsuit, the court will consider a number of factors, including negligence per se and comparative fault law, also known as comparative negligence. Negligence per se is the presumption that the person that violated a safety rule is at fault. This could be a driver or a pedestrian. Whoever is not following the rules of the road is presumed responsible. This goes hand in hand with comparative fault. Comparative fault analyzes everyone’s responsibility for a collision and divides the percentage of fault between all the people involved. In other words, the pedestrian could ultimately be found 5% at fault and therefore recover 5% less money in a lawsuit.
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian crash and believe the motorist was at fault, we can help. Please contact Gokal Law at 949-753-9100.
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