Houston Traffic Related Pedestrian Accidents
You Need an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Accidents involving automobiles striking pedestrians often result in severe injuries such as spinal injuries, paralysis and even death. According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 5376 pedestrians killed in auto-pedestrian accidents in 2015. Another 129,000 pedestrians hit by cars were treated for injuries during 2015. In 2016 the CDC reported 5,987 pedestrian traffic accident deaths or a pedestrian related death every 90 minutes.
Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian at a Crosswalk is a Crime
Under Texas Penal Code Section 552.003, pedestrians have right-of-way at crosswalks. Drivers of automobiles are required by law to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk if:
- No traffic control signal is in place or in operation, and
- The pedestrian is:
- On the half of the roadway in which the vehicle is traveling; or
- Approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
Furthermore, it is illegal to pass a vehicle that has stopped for a pedestrian crossing in a crosswalk. Violation of this section of the law resulting in an accident is a misdemeanor under criminal law and may constitute negligence per se for purposes of tort liability for damages. Hiring an experienced auto pedestrian accident lawyer can help you understand these laws further.
Pedestrians Walking Along Roads and on Sidewalks
Drivers must share the road with others. This duty obligates them to maintain a proper lookout for both vehicles driving on the roads and people walking by the road or working along highway shoulders. Vulnerable Road User Ordinances protect pedestrians walking along streets and on sidewalks by requiring operators of automobiles to take specific actions when driving around vulnerable road users such as:
- Vacate the pedestrian’s lane when passing if there is another lane available.
- Yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian walking from the opposite direction when turning the vehicle left or right–even if this is a pedestrian on a sidewalk.
These statutes further prohibit vehicles from:
- Turning across a vulnerable road user’s path after overtaking a pedestrian walking in the same direction.
- Using the car to cause intimidation or harassment to a pedestrian.
- Throwing things at pedestrians.
A Vulnerable Road User Ordinance is a powerful tool in the arsenal of a pedestrian accident lawyer when seeking to hold a driver responsible for striking a pedestrian along the roadway.
Statistics Regarding Accidents With Child Pedestrians
In 2013, statistics show that 4,735 pedestrians were killed in accidents involving motor vehicles, which translates to one crash-related pedestrian death every two hours. One fifth of all fatal pedestrian accidents involve children and commonly occur between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. while children are returning home from school. In addition to these fatalities, 150,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal crash injuries in 2013.
Causes of Child Pedestrian Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 76% of child pedestrian deaths occur at non-intersections due to children who were playing at the side of the road, running into the road without looking for traffic, and crossing the streets at locations that are not an intersection with a crosswalk. Some of the risk factors that are recognized for increasing the likelihood of an accident include:
- The child’s road environment
- The proximity of the child’s school to the child’s home
- The time that school ends for the child
- The age of the child
- The income of the child’s family
Injuries Experienced by Child Pedestrians
Many of the injuries associated with child pedestrian accidents are due to the direct collision between a motor vehicle and the child pedestrian. Individuals also experience secondary injuries that occur when the force of the initial impact causes the pedestrian to strike another object. Examples of the most common types of injuries incurred by pedestrians include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Torn ligaments
- Bone fractures
Advice to Prevent Child Pedestrian Accidents
Unfortunately, it is impossible to prevent every accident from occurring. There are some tips, however, that parents and children can take to avoid the chances of a child pedestrian accident occurring. These pieces of advice include the following:
- Children should always look both ways prior to crossing the street
- Children must make sure to move out of the way of moving vehicles
- Children should only cross the street in a crosswalk
- Small children should always have an adult with them when crossing the street
Given the substantial danger presented by child pedestrian accidents, it is extremely important that parents make sure children appreciate the danger presented by moving vehicles.
Call an Experienced Auto Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a pedestrian accident, you may have legal recourse. Don’t let a car accident wreck your entire life. Call the law office of Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. today for a free consultation. If we take you case, we pay the investigation costs up front and if we cannot make a recovery, you don’t pay those expenses back nor pay any attorneys fee.
Paul Cannon has practiced personal injury trial law since 1995. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law (2005). He has earned recognition as a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters in 2017 & 2018, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2017. He is a Shareholder, trial lawyer and online marketing manager at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. His legal writings have been published by the Texas Bar Journal, Business.com, Lawyer.com HG Legal Resources, Lawfirms.com, and others. He has been asked to give education talks and media interviews on dog bite law.