“You should feel safe crossing the street.”
Well, that’s just a given, isn’t it? It is a logical expectation, and one duly expressed in an authoritative Washington State legal source addressing motor vehicle accidents and injuries.
That topical overview focuses with special emphasis on pedestrians who seek to safely negotiate traffic as they walk about in South King County and other parts of the state.
Sadly, they don’t always succeed.
And that surprises virtually nobody. Although every demographic faces roadway challenges and risks (ranging broadly from truck drivers and motorists in passenger vehicles to motorcyclists and bicyclists), it can logically seem as though pedestrians are virtual bull’s-eye targets in traffic situations.
The reasons why are many and obvious.
Heightened risks for pedestrians are persistent and danger-laden
Most road users are shielded by enveloping steel that provides some level of protection. That is not true for motorcycle riders and bicyclists of course, who too often pay a heavy price for their outsized vulnerability.
Candidly, though, and notwithstanding the special safety challenges posed for individuals on two-wheeled vehicles, the risks they face pale in comparison with those that routinely confront pedestrians. The injuries that walkers suffer in motor vehicle-linked accidents are far too often catastrophic and even fatal. They run a broad gamut, with these types of outcomes being common:
- Significant head trauma (e.g., concussions and traumatic brain injury)
- Broken/fractured bones
- Contusions and severe scrapes
- Neck, back and spinal cord injuries
Core catalysts causing catastrophic pedestrian injuries
A Washington State website spotlighting pedestrian safety challenges and injuries prominently notes walkers’ sheer exposure and their biggest nemesis. Without question, motorists’ negligence is what literally drives most pedestrian injury outcomes. An enumerated government listing underscores what drivers should not be doing. That compendium of taboos centrally includes these types of behind-the-wheel activities:
- Not sufficiently looking for pedestrians at crosswalks
- Not coming to a complete stop at crosswalks
- Being preoccupied with phones and/or other onboard distractions
- Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Failing to use lights when needed
Any one of those driving lapses – by itself or in concert with others – can materially spike the odds of an adverse traffic outcome for a pedestrian.
Walkers command strong legal rights. An experienced personal injury legal team can promote them and help an accident victim pursue a remedy that secures accountability and maximum compensation for damages.