Pedestrian accidents are often fatal or at least lead to serious injuries to pedestrians. Without protection, someone who gets hit at even 20 miles per hour could suffer extensive injuries.
This often leads people to provide advice on how pedestrians can be safer when they have to walk near traffic. Common tips include the following:
- Do not listen to headphones while walking, as it is distracting and makes it harder to hear traffic.
- Don’t look down at your phone while walking.
- Wear bright clothes and consider headlamps or other types of lights.
- Do not walk at night if it can be avoided.
- Stick to the roads and streets that you know the best.
All of these things can help, but it’s important to know that there’s no legal obligation to do any of it. A pedestrian isn’t breaking the law if they cross the street while listening to music. If someone runs a stop sign and hits them, the fact that they didn’t hear the car coming and couldn’t avoid the crash doesn’t make them responsible.
So who is responsible?
In cases like this, where pedestrians follow the traffic laws and get hit anyway, the driver who struck them is at fault. They may try to blame someone for being distracted or wearing dark clothes, but the fault is still with the person who ran the red stop sign. Drivers must follow the laws and provide pedestrians with a safe space to walk.
If you have been injured in an accident, even if the driver is trying to blame you, you may well have a right to compensation.