When motor vehicles and pedestrians collide, the outcome can be catastrophic. Unfortunately, pedestrian-car accidents are on the rise in Alabama. Since 2008, pedestrian fatalities have increased by 56.9%. In 2017 alone, 113 pedestrians died in car crashes in Alabama, and another 706 suffered injuries.
If you were seriously injured in a crash as a pedestrian, the at-fault driver might owe your compensation for your lost income, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Here, the bicycle accident lawyers at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys outline six things you need to know about pedestrian accidents in Alabama. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Pedestrians Don’t Always Have the Right of Way in Alabama
Many motorists and pedestrians don’t understand who has the right of way when it comes to crossing the street. First, pedestrians should always cross at a crosswalk.
When traffic signals are present, both drivers and people on foot must obey them. For everyone’s safety, you should wait to cross until the “walk” signal appears, even if there are no vehicles in sight. If no signal is present at a crosswalk, pedestrians must look out for hazards and shouldn’t suddenly leave the curb or run into the path of a vehicle.
When pedestrians jaywalk, vehicles have the right of way, and people on foot must yield to them. Pedestrians also cannot cross an intersection diagonally.
2. Jaywalking at Night Is Dangerous for Pedestrians
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of the deadliest places on the road for pedestrians are in the city at night. There are many reasons why urban roadways pose an increased risk: limited crosswalks, poor lighting, and road designs that favor drivers over vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists.
When pedestrians jaywalk, or cross the road at a non-intersection, the results can be deadly. In these situations, drivers aren’t expecting foot traffic, and visibility may be low, even if you’re wearing reflective clothing.
To make matters worse, the insurance companies may argue that you were contributorily negligent and deny compensation. To fight back, you’ll need an experienced and aggressive injury lawyer’s help.
RELATED EBOOK: Everything You Need to Know About Alabama Car Accidents
3. Alcohol Use Increases Risk of Injury and Death
Alcohol plays a significant role in many pedestrian deaths, according to the CDC. Nearly half of all pedestrian deaths involve alcohol use by either the driver or the person on foot. A third of pedestrians who died in crashes had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit of 0.08%, and nearly 15% of the drivers were legally intoxicated.
4. Walking on the Road in Alabama Is Legal Under Certain Circumstances
When present, pedestrians should walk on the sidewalk instead of on the road. However, when sidewalks aren’t available, pedestrians can walk on the shoulder of the road. When there’s no shoulder, it is legal to walk in the road.
The safest way to walk on the street is against the flow of traffic, as close to the edge is safely possible. While walking on the road is not ideal, it’s essential to do it safely when traveling the road on foot is the only option.
5. Texting and Walking Can Result in Pedestrian Crashes
Texting and driving is illegal in Alabama. However, texting and walking is not, and it plays a significant role in pedestrian accidents. Sixty percent of people who walk and text are unable to walk a straight line. Many safety experts, including law enforcement groups and the Governors Highway Safety Association, think that distracted walking contributes to many serious car-pedestrian accidents.
While it’s tempting to multi-task on your daily walk, you should put your phone away.
6. Bicyclists Are not Pedestrians
It’s not uncommon to see bicycles on Alabama’s roads. However, bikes are considered vehicles under Alabama law, and cyclists must follow the rules of the road. That means that riding your bike on the sidewalk is illegal.
RELATED ARTICLE: Understanding Alabama’s Bicycle Safety Laws
However, that doesn’t mean that an injured cyclist doesn’t have legal rights. If you’re the victim of a bike and car crash and have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experienced bicycle crash lawyers at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys.
Hurt in a Pedestrian-Car Crash? You Could Be Owed Damages
If you’ve been harmed in a pedestrian-vehicle accident, you probably have questions about your rights, and what damages a personal injury lawyer can help you can recover. When you’ve suffered through no fault of your own, damages can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages and income, including lost wage-earning capacity
- Medical bills and the cost of your future medical care
- Emotional trauma
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of enjoyment
Because every pedestrian-car injury claim is different, it’s in your best interest to consult with an Alabama injury lawyer before you accept a settlement.
Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Fighting for Alabama Pedestrian Accident Victims
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we understand that pedestrian-car accidents can change your life forever. When you follow the rules, you don’t deserve to suffer. However, many cyclists and their loved ones struggle to get fair compensation for their injuries.
When you call one of our offices, we’ll listen to your story and help you make the best decision for you and your family after your crash. We’ve recovered hundreds of millions for our clients and fight relentlessly on their behalf. To schedule your free consultation, don’t hesitate to contact us at (251) 888-8888 today or complete a simple online form for your free case evaluation.
Alabama Code § 32-5A-212 (2016).
Alabama state bike laws. League of American Bicyclists. Retrieved from https://www.bikeleague.org/StateBikeLaws
Cooper, J. (2017). Crash facts 2017. Alabama Department of Transportation. Retrieved from http://www.caps.ua.edu/files/2019/01/ALDOT-2017-CrashFactsBook.pdf
Gauntt, J. (2018, June 18). ‘Distracted walking’ may be to blame for increase in pedestrian accidents around Alabama. 6WBRC. Retrieved from https://www.wbrc.com/story/38451896/distracted-walking-may-be-to-blame-for-increase-in-pedestrian-accidents-around-alabama/
Pedestrian safety (2017, May). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/pedestrian_safety/index.html
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.