Pedestrian accidents are an ever-present issue in Alabama, often due to both drivers and pedestrians ignoring or simply not knowing the law. However, the consequences of a pedestrian collision can be devastating. Fatal and catastrophic injuries are not uncommon, so it’s crucial for everyone to take extra steps to keep roads safe.
If you’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Ready to learn more? Call the personal injury attorneys at Hodges Trial Lawyers at 256-539-3110 now and we’ll set you up with a consultation.
Know the Laws in Alabama
Alabama Code Title 32 deals with motor vehicles and traffic, and it outlines the laws for pedestrians and drivers. When pedestrians are crossing anywhere other than a marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, they must yield the right of way to vehicles.
When there are adjacent intersections with traffic control signals, pedestrians should only cross at a marked crosswalk. Along the same lines, pedestrians should not cross roadways diagonally unless traffic control devices give them explicit permission to do so.
Drivers are expected to yield right of way to pedestrians in marked and unmarked crosswalks. This remains true when traffic signals are not in operation.
Pedestrians should not suddenly step out from a curb or sidewalk and enter the path of a vehicle.
Slow Down in Pedestrian-Heavy Areas
You know your community, and you know when and where pedestrians tend to gather. If you know you’ll be driving through those areas, give yourself extra time so you aren’t rushing through your drive.
Give Extra Patience When Necessary
Elderly people, schoolchildren, and parents with children may take more time to cross. Give them space and avoid inching up on them. Doing so may make them feel threatened or unsafe.
Make Pedestrians Feel Comfortable Before They Cross
Even when pedestrians have the right of way, they are often slow to take it because so many vehicles blow through crosswalks without even slowing down. They may wait for confirmation that you are stopping before they cross. Watch for any pedestrians attempting to make eye contact so you can acknowledge that you have seen them. This saves time as well, since they may not have to wait as long to cross.
Watch Out for Kids Around Schools and Buses
Quite a few pedestrian accidents involve children getting onto or off of school buses. When school is starting or ending, be extra cautious about school buses. Children are not always attentive to their surroundings, and it’s up to you to help keep them safe.
Think Twice Before Swerving Around the Car in Front of You
If there is a car stopped suddenly in front of you, don’t swerve to get around them and pass. There’s likely a good reason that they have stopped, and if they hit the brakes for a pedestrian, you could hit them. Not only is this rude, but it’s also illegal. Alabama law states that when a vehicle is stopped at a crosswalk, the vehicle behind them shall not overtake and pass them on the side.
Tips for Pedestrians
While drivers are most likely to cause pedestrian accidents, pedestrians should also be careful while out and about. It’s important to:
- Be aware of the weather and time of day. If you’re walking in rainy or foggy weather, it may be more difficult for cars to spot you. The same is true during an evening stroll.
- Stick to sidewalks when possible. While some roads do not have sidewalks, they are available in many areas. If at all possible, stay on sidewalks for your safety. If they aren’t available, stay as far to the right as you can.
- Assume that oncoming cars do not see you. This assumption could literally save your life. Try to make eye contact with a driver slowing down so you know that they’ve seen you and are stopping.
- Stay in well-lit areas. In these areas, you’re more likely to be visible to drivers.
- Only cross at approved crosswalks. Crossing in the middle of the road isn’t worth the few minutes you might save.
Get the Help You Need—Call Hodges Trial Lawyers
Have you been injured in a pedestrian accident? It’s time to find out if you’re entitled to compensation for your losses. Let’s talk more about your accident and injuries. Call us at 256-539-3110 or fill out our contact form now.