Bethlehem Accident Attorney Discusses Pedestrian Accidents

November 2, 2021

According to (PDF), “many pedestrian crashes and fatalities occurred while pedestrians were entering crossing/specified location'”. [sic]. This means that a pedestrian was most likely crossing the street at an intersection, mid-block crossing, or crossing a driveway entrance.

According to PennDOT, in 2020, there were 2,957 accidents involving pedestrians, including 146 deaths in Pennsylvania. Interestingly, there were far more injuries and associated fatalities in the age group from ages 15-34 than there were in the age group from ages 0-14. If you’ve been injured by a motor vehicle as a pedestrian, or a loved one has died under these circumstances, let an experienced Bethlehem accident attorney at Drake, Hileman & Davis help.

Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right-of-Way When Crossing a Street?

It is a common misperception that drivers are lawfully required to yield to any pedestrian crossing a street, and it is so widely believed that it could be considered an “urban myth.” Nonetheless, it’s simply not true. It is true that according to 75 Pa. C.S. § 3542(a), “[w]hen traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.”

However, under 75 Pa. C.S. § 3542(b), “[n]o pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which [sic] is so close as to constitute a hazard.” Even third-party vehicles come into the legal picture. Under 75 Pa. C.S. § 3542(c), “[w]henever any vehicle is stopped at any crosswalk at an intersection or at any marked crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.”

There are other sections of the Pennsylvania Code that control other types of pedestrian crossings, such as crossing at signalized intersections (75 Pa. C.S. § 3112(a)), crossing at places other than intersections (75 Pa. C.S. § 3112(b)), and crossing at intersections with inoperable or malfunctioning signals (75 Pa. C.S. § 3112(c)).

What Can I Do to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents?

Some accidents are unavoidable, and often the fault of the driver. But there are some common-sense tips for staying safe as a pedestrian:

  • Walk on the sidewalk when there is one, but be aware that vehicles driven by intoxicated or distracted drivers have been known to drive up even as far as the sidewalk 
  • Lacking a sidewalk, walk facing oncoming traffic
  • Swivel your head left, right, and left before crossing
  • Always use the nearest crosswalk. Otherwise, you can actually get a ticket for jaywalking
  • Don’t assume drivers will stop, even when you have the right-of-way. Be sure they see you before crossing
  • Don’t use a cell phone, earbuds, or other electronics while walking
  • Wear bright clothing and reflective materials when walking at dawn, dusk, or at night
  • Look across all lanes before crossing a multi-lane road
  • Don’t cross the street from behind obstacles that might shield you from drivers

Let a Bethlehem Accident Attorney Help You Prevent Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents are far too common, and many can be avoided. You have to look out for yourself as well as the drivers around you. A Bethlehem accident attorney at Drake, Hileman & Davis will help you with your insurance and legal claims. We’ll fight for the full amount of financial compensation you’re entitled to. To schedule your free consultation, contact us today.