If you like to take to the streets on foot, Austin is a great city for you. Austin is a bustling city that’s very inviting to those who like to get around at their own speed. With its many beautiful parks and trails, its unique bat-watching experiences, its charming shops, and its emphasis on living green, Austin has something to offer everyone who loves the outdoors.
Along with all this outdoor fun, however, come pedestrian accidents. When you’re walking, there is absolutely nothing to protect you from the impact of an accident, and as such, pedestrian accidents are among the deadliest traffic accidents. If a driver’s negligence has left you injured in a pedestrian accident, you need the help of an experienced pedestrian accident law firm.
Austin Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Pedestrian accidents are exceedingly dangerous accidents, and the statistics illustrate this fact. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center reports several sobering statistics related to pedestrian accidents:
- 2015 saw the highest number of pedestrian traffic fatalities (more than 5,000) since 1996.
- While total traffic fatalities decreased by almost 18 percent in the decade from 2006 to 2015, pedestrian fatalities rose by 12 percent.
- In the decade from 2006 to 2015, the number of pedestrians injured in traffic accidents rose by almost 15 percent.
Pedestrian accidents are serious, and they happen. If a motorist has left you injured in a pedestrian accident, you need an experienced pedestrian accident attorney. These claims are complicated, but your just compensation is far too important to leave to chance. The dedicated legal team at George Salinas Injury Lawyers in Austin cares about your case, and we’re here to help. Our knowledgeable pedestrian accident lawyers have the commitment, experience, and determination to fight for your claim’s most beneficial resolution.
Texas Pedestrian Laws
Texas has laws on the books that guide pedestrian accident claims. In the State of Texas, motorists and pedestrians share the responsibility for keeping our roads safe. In other words, as a pedestrian, you have both specific safety responsibilities and specific protections under the law. The misguided and dangerous notion that pedestrians always have the right of way simply isn’t true.
As a pedestrian, you’re responsible for following the instructions provided by crosswalk signals. To ignore a Don’t Walk signal is much like running a red light when you’re driving—you shouldn’t do it. The expectations for pedestrians are much like the expectations for motorists. Pedestrian traffic signals are not suggestions but requirements.
For intersections with no traffic signals, you—as a pedestrian—have the right-of-way within certain parameters. A driver is required to yield to a pedestrian when the pedestrian is in the same half of the roadway that the driver is traveling on—or when the pedestrian is approaching that half of the roadway so quickly as to be in danger. Further, pedestrians are precluded from leaving the curb when doing so renders it impossible for oncoming traffic to yield safely.
Staying Safe Out There
When you take to the streets of Austin on foot, always make safety your top priority. There are several steps you can take to help keep you safe out there:
- Use designated pedestrian crosswalks or walkways whenever possible
- Always follow all posted pedestrian signs and signals
- Cross the street with a group whenever possible—groups are easier for oncoming traffic to see
- Don’t walk distracted—keep your wits about you
- Don’t dart into or enter traffic inappropriately
- Wear comfortable, well-fitting walking shoes
Walking is a great way to really connect with all that Austin has on offer, but keep things safe by sticking to the rules of the road.
Distracted Drivers Endanger Pedestrians
Dangerous pedestrian accidents are on the rise, and distracted drivers are common culprits. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) classifies distracted driving as any driving in which the driver fails to fully focus on the primary task at hand—driving safely. The meteoric rise of smartphones in our daily lives has left many a driver with the mistaken and dangerous notion that they can handle their cars and their phones simultaneously. Driving safely is all about making split-second decisions that affect everyone on the road. When drivers fail to focus on this imperative, they endanger everyone with whom they share the road, including vulnerable pedestrians.
When drivers make the dangerous decision to interact with their smartphones while driving, they take their eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds at a time. That’s far too long to drive blind, and dangerous pedestrian accidents can ensue.
Handling Insurance Claims
Pedestrian accident claims are complicated. If a motorist has left you injured in a pedestrian accident, you will very likely be contacted by that motorist’s insurance company. You are not, however, required to provide the insurance representative with a statement about the accident—and you shouldn’t do so. Insurance companies are in the business of turning massive profits, and they often employ less-than-savory techniques to bolster those profits. Your experienced pedestrian accident attorney will provide the insurance company with whatever’s necessary.
A Driver’s Duty of Safe Driving
Drivers owe everyone on the road, including pedestrians, the duty of safe driving. This includes following the rules of the roadway, not driving while distracted, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or while drowsy, yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks, and accommodating for inclement weather and imperfect road conditions. Negligent drivers should be held fully responsible for the injuries they cause.
If a Driver Injured You in a Pedestrian Accident, You Need an Experienced Austin Pedestrian Accident Attorney
As a pedestrian, you are especially vulnerable to traffic accidents. If a negligent motorist has left you injured, the experienced legal team at George Salinas Injury Lawyers in Austin is here to help. Our skilled pedestrian accident attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and dedication to aggressively guide your claim toward its most positive outcome. We care about you and your claim, so please contact or call us at (210) 225-0909 to schedule an appointment today.