Negligent drivers and pedestrians are often a bad mix. This is especially true when a driver is in a hurry, distracted or intoxicated. If you were hit while walking, speak with a Tulsa accident lawyer today.
Unfortunately, cars and pedestrians are often a bad combination. In 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 5,900 pedestrians lost their lives due to collisions with cars. In the same year, approximately 137,000 pedestrians suffered nonfatal injuries that were treated in emergency rooms across the country. That is a pedestrian fatality every 85 minutes. In 2020, those numbers continued to soar despite the pandemic lockdown.
For the most part, roadways and traffic laws are designed to facilitate vehicular traffic, not pedestrian traffic. Yet nationwide, many communities, including Tulsa, are seeking to make their communities more walkable. Pedestrian traffic makes communities more vibrant and more livable. It helps revitalize small businesses within the community. For that reason, all communities should be concerned about protecting pedestrians. Anyone injured should learn about their rights from a Tulsa accident lawyer.
Accidents occur for many reasons. A driver may not see a pedestrian or may be in a hurry. A pedestrian may cross in an unexpected place instead of at a designated intersection. A pedestrian may be wearing darker clothing, making it difficult to see the pedestrian. Sometimes, the fault is that of the driver, and sometimes, the fault is that of the pedestrian. Sometimes, the fault is shared.
The fault is often a complicated subject. Oklahoma is a comparative fault state. That means that a person who shares some fault, but not more than 49% fault, can bring a lawsuit against another person who is more at fault for the accident. When injured, it is always a good idea to have experienced legal representation on your side. When the question of fault is at issue, it is even more important to do so. Our Tulsa accident lawyers are here to help you every step of the way.
Oklahoma laws regarding a pedestrian’s right-of-way are fairly straightforward to understand. At all times, a driver must obey the posted speed limit.
Drivers must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian who is crossing within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is on the half of the crosswalk where the vehicle is traveling. Drivers of other vehicles may not pass a vehicle that has stopped for a pedestrian until that move can be made safely.
A pedestrian may not suddenly leave the curb or enter the path of an oncoming vehicle that is so close that it makes it impossible for the driver to yield the right-of-way. Likewise, a pedestrian who is crossing at a non-designated crosswalk must yield the right-of-way to all other vehicular traffic.
If a sidewalk is provided, the pedestrian must use it. If there is no sidewalk, then a pedestrian may only walk on the left side of the roadway or shoulder and must face traffic approaching from the other direction.
Speeding: Sometimes, drivers are just in a hurry. Driving over the posted speed limit always poses a threat to others. It just takes longer to recognize and react to possible danger. The greater the vehicle’s speed, the greater the degree of injury to a pedestrian at impact. The likelihood of pedestrian death is nearly 100% for speeds over 50 mph.
Failure to Stop or Yield: Running a stop sign or a red light is a leading cause of pedestrian accidents. Failure to yield often occurs when a driver is making a turn before letting pedestrian traffic clear enough. But failure to yield also occurs when a driver plows through a crosswalk containing a pedestrian who has already begun to cross.
Driving Under the Influence: Always a bad decision on the part of a driver, driving under the influence makes any accident more likely. This can occur at night, at a time when it is especially difficult to see a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
Distracted Driving: Cell phone use or engaging in any activity that distracts a driver can mean an accident. A driver must place their full attention on the task at hand. Oklahoma has laws that prohibit distracted driving.
Because pedestrians have little to protect them at impact, an accident can have devastating effects. Pedestrians often suffer serious personal injuries and death. If you or a loved one are involved in a pedestrian accident, you must work with an experienced traffic accident lawyer as soon as possible.
If you have been hit by a car or truck, it is vital that you get the legal help you need. Contact our team of experienced Tulsa accident lawyers today at Wandres Law, PC, to see what we can do for you. The case evaluation is free. Call (918) 641-4044 or contact us online today.