When you ask anyone about ways to stay safe as a pedestrian who is walking near the road, one of the first things they’ll tell you is that you should always cross at a crosswalk. And this is true. A lot of serious accidents happen when people attempt to cross at places that they shouldn’t, where drivers don’t expect them and may not see them.
However, crosswalks are no guarantee of safety. This is especially true when you consider drivers who are turning through the intersection at the same time.
The serious risk of turning left
The problem comes when a car is turning left. Technically, the pedestrian does have the right of way. If you walk into the crosswalk, a driver who is turning the left through that crosswalk is expected to wait for you to cross before they do so.
Unfortunately, many drivers are not looking at the crosswalk at all in this scenario. They may have a blinking light, or they may just need to wait for traffic to clear before they turn. This means that their eyes are ahead of them, looking at the cars coming toward them, rather than looking where they want to go. When they see a break in traffic that they can drive through safely, then they begin their turn.
It is at this point that their eyes may shift to the crosswalk, but by then it may be too late for them to avoid a collision. Additionally, some drivers will turn through a small gap. They know that stopping to wait for a pedestrian means they are now going to be hit by an oncoming car, so they’ll feel they have no choice but to keep going, even when it puts that person in danger.
This risk is lowered at traffic lights that have a green arrow for those who are turning left. The crosswalk signal will be off at this point, so drivers who are turning with the arrow should not have to look for pedestrians. But this can also lead them to feel that they never have to look, which is simply not the case.
Have you been injured?
If you were legally crossing the street and you were hit by a driver who failed to look for you or acted recklessly, you could suffer serious injuries. Do you know what options you have to seek compensation? It may be able to help you with medical bills, lost wages and many other costs.