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A Breakdown of Louisiana Pedestrian Laws

Pedestrian Laws

With the warmer weather well on its way to Louisiana, more and more individuals are opting to walk to daily activities such as work, school, or running errands. Many urban Louisiana cities such as Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Shreveport boast attractive areas with high foot traffic that require extra caution when walking, biking, or driving through. Since Louisiana is the second deadliest state for pedestrians, it is imperative for both pedestrians and drivers to acquaint themselves with the state’s pedestrian and right-of-way laws. Understanding them can significantly enhance safety for everyone on the road.

Should an unfortunate pedestrian accident occur, it’s crucial to know your rights and the appropriate steps to take. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys is here to provide guidance and support during such challenging times. At Joubert Law Firm, we’re dedicated to advocating for the rights of pedestrians and ensuring that justice is served in cases of pedestrian accidents. Read on to discover what sets Louisiana pedestrian laws apart and what to do if you are the victim of a pedestrian accident in Louisiana.

Understanding Louisiana Laws

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Louisiana witnessed 972 fatalities in 2021, with 184 of these casualties involving pedestrians. Notably, East Baton Rouge Parish recorded 25 pedestrian fatalities in 2021 alone. These figures raise significant concerns and serve as a reminder of the critical importance of adhering to traffic and safety regulations. Louisiana's RS 32:212 provides that when proper traffic signals are absent or not operational, drivers must come to a halt and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing at a designated crosswalk. The law further specifies that pedestrians should not abruptly step onto the roadway from a curb or other safe location if a vehicle is too close to yield. Importantly, the legislation goes beyond conventional norms by asserting that even when pedestrians lack the right-of-way, drivers bear the responsibility to avoid collisions whenever feasible.

What Makes Louisiana Different?

In contrast to several other states, Louisiana’s regulations regarding pedestrian right-of-way differ, as pedestrians do not universally possess the right-of-way when crossing roadways. Specifically, pedestrians are required to yield to motorists when outside of marked crosswalks and are obligated to utilize sidewalks when available. In instances where a sidewalk is unavailable, pedestrians are instructed to walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic. It is crucial for pedestrians to adhere to these regulations, as failure to do so may result in partial liability in the event of an accident. According to the comparative negligence doctrine, individuals involved in an accident may recover damages proportionate to their degree of liability. For instance, if a pedestrian is found 10% liable for an accident, they would still be eligible to recover 90% of the damages incurred. This legal principle aims to apportion responsibility fairly among parties involved in an accident.

What Can Be Done?

The escalation of pedestrian accidents both in Louisiana and nationwide brings up the pressing need for proactive measures. It is imperative to acknowledge the state’s dedication to addressing this concern, shown by ongoing initiatives led by Louisiana officials aimed at enhancing pedestrian safety. In an article written by Marcus Bonton, a transportation engineer in Louisiana, several recommendations are presented to bolster pedestrian safety in alignment with the 2022 Louisiana Strategy Highway Safety Plan and the LADOTD Complete Streets Policy.

Bonton emphasizes the importance of advocating for complete streets in Louisiana, asserting that it is essential for accommodating diverse roadway users while fostering inclusivity and community cohesion. Furthermore, he highlights the value of utilizing data analytics to identify and prioritize the most severe safety issues. This approach allows lawmakers and stakeholders to formulate policies that target areas in need of improvement, contributing to the overall creation of safer environments for Louisiana citizens.

In addition, the Governors Highway Safety Association suggests integrating pedestrian safety into driver education courses and focusing enforcement on risky driving behaviors, such as speeding and distracted driving. These steps are seen as beneficial in addressing pedestrian safety issues at a fundamental level in the state.

What Should I Do If I Have Been Involved In a Pedestrian Accident?

If you sustained injuries by being struck by a vehicle while walking along the road or crossing the street, you need an experienced pedestrian accident attorney to advocate for you. We understand the physical and emotional toll that these types of accidents can have on your life, and our team is dedicated to providing comprehensive legal support for those who have suffered injuries in pedestrian-related incidents. From gathering evidence to negotiating with insurance companies, we will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence while navigating roadways, we are here to help. Call our office at (225) 761-3822 or complete our secure online contact form for a FREE consultation. Your well-being is our priority.

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