In 2009, traffic accidents injured 5,330 and killed 64 Alaskans. A sizable percentage of those injured and/or killed were pedestrians. Throughout the United States, 4,280 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 70,000 were injured the following year (2010) as a result of either one of both parties being negligent of pedestrian laws.
If you are unsure of your rights as a pedestrian, contact a pedestrian accident attorney; they will be able to go through your rights and duties as a pedestrian, in detail, and can answer any questions you may have.
Here is a comprehensive list of your rights:
- You are subject to abide by traffic-control signals whenever and wherever they are provided.
- Whenever there is no traffic-control signal but there is a crosswalk, drivers must yield you the right of way by either slowing down or stopping to signify that they are yielding. If there is a pedestrian overpass or tunnel, vehicles will not need to stop.
- You are not allowed to unexpectedly and suddenly leave the curb, walk, or run into the path of a moving vehicle that cannot stop in time to yield you the right of way.
- As a driver who has yielded to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, any cars behind that first car are not allowed to drive around them.
- You have the right of way when crossing a sidewalk and a car is either entering or exiting a side street or driveway. These vehicles must stop to let you pass.
- If there is no traffic-signal or crosswalk available, then you must yield your right of way to all vehicles.
- A pedestrian accident attorney will stress that J-walking, or crossing an intersection diagonally, is illegal unless authorized by official traffic-control signals. Some cities do have this traffic signal, but most do not.
- When using a crosswalk, you are expected to use the right-hand rule at all times.
- When walking along a roadway (due to sidewalks not being available), you must walk on the left side of the road -- facing traffic.
- You are not allowed to stand in a roadway in order to solicit a ride; hitch hiking is illegal in most states.
In 2008, nearly two pedestrians in 100,000 people died in vehicle crashes across the United States. A pedestrian death also occurred every 70 million miles walked.
If you were a victim of a pedestrian accident, filing a personal injury claim with a personal injury law firm is one option, but seeking out a pedestrian accident attorney is your best bet to a speedy legal process with someone who is well-versed in that legal niche.
The defendant may call upon their car accident attorney, who you should expect to also be well-versed in pedestrian and vehicle rights. If you've found a great pedestrian accident attorney who specializes in cases like yours and has been practicing for more than five years, you will most likely be able to receive some form of personal injury compensation, assuming you have not violated any above rules.