While walking is a healthy activity, in certain places and situations, it also comes with certain risks. Pedestrian-only areas, or places with clearly marked sidewalks, are the safest for walkers, but they are not always convenient for where you want to go. Where protections like sidewalks are not available, pedestrians must exercise caution-and even then, as any motor vehicle accident attorney in New York knows, pedestrians can all too easily become accident victims.
Recently, a man was struck and killed on a New York highway. He was walking along the eastbound lane and was hit by a tractor trailer. It is unclear why the man was walking along the highway, and authorities are currently conducting an investigation of the accident.
Car accidents involving pedestrians can be especially dangerous because of the lack of protection of the pedestrian. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, almost 5,000 pedestrians are killed in car accidents each year. Liability in a pedestrian-vehicle accident is determined under the theory of negligence. Drivers are required to use reasonable car under the circumstances, and a failure to do this could be found to be negligence. However, pedestrians also have a duty to exercise reasonable care and follow the rules of the road, and a failure to meet this could be contributory negligence.
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Courts consider many factors in determining whether there was negligence on the part of the driver and the pedestrian, such as whether the driver was speeding, distracted or failed to use turn signals or observe traffic signals, and whether the pedestrian was in a designated cross walk, ignored the “walk” signal or ran into traffic.
Source: WETMtv.com, “UPDATE: Victim Named in Fatal NY 17 Accident,” Zach Wheeler, Feb. 19, 2013