With distracted driving on the rise, many drivers fail to see pedestrians or consider their safety. In their rush to get to appointments or to beat a red light, drivers often speed through crosswalks, putting pedestrians—those most vulnerable on the road—at risk. Accidents involving pedestrians can result in catastrophic injuries and have devastating effects.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a pedestrian accident, you do not have to face the heavy burden of financial and physical recovery on your own. Our Utah pedestrian accident lawyers can help.
What Can The Advocates Do for My Pedestrian Accident Case?
The Utah pedestrian accident attorneys at Christensen & Hymas built our law firm with the goal of helping accident victims. When you’re injured in a motor vehicle accident as a pedestrian, you need help. You may not know what your claim is worth or how to go about pursuing it. Working with the insurance companies and pursuing your legal claim is a minefield. Things that you don’t even know can unravel your case.
But our attorneys are your legal advocates when you need us most. We offer comprehensive legal services to pursue your case from start to finish. Let us focus on your legal claim while you focus on your recovery. Together, we work to move your case quickly and smoothly while maximizing your compensation.
Learn your Rights. Get Answers. Free.
Why Do You Need a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
Pedestrian accidents cause serious injuries. The person on foot doesn’t have the weight of a heavy vehicle to protect them from impact. The resulting injuries can turn your life upside down. Unfortunately, the insurance companies and those responsible won’t want to pay you fairly. They want to stall your case in order to pay far less than you deserve or even refuse to pay you completely.
When you have a lawyer for pedestrian accidents, everyone knows that you mean business. Your attorney can help you understand if your claim is being handled properly. With their experience on your side, you can have peace of mind that you’re building the evidence in your favor and working a legal strategy to reach your goals. A pedestrian accident is a life-changing event. With qualified legal counsel, you know that you’re handling the situation in the best way possible while you recover on your own terms.
Crosswalks and Crosswalk Accidents in Utah
Crosswalks are some of the most important signals on a roadway. They influence both cars and pedestrians. With many different laws surrounding crosswalks, drivers and pedestrians should know them. Usually, crosswalks have signals like lights, sounds, flags, and even painted lines.
Pedestrians in Crosswalks
Pedestrians utilize crosswalks when they cross a street or an intersection. To ensure safety, be alert when crossing the road, even if it is the pedestrian’s turn. The following is a list of items pedestrians should be aware of when they are utilizing a crosswalk.
- Crosswalk Signals. Signals alert the pedestrian of when to walk and when to wait. These signals may be a hand or an icon of a person walking. Depending on the crosswalk, a countdown timer might also inform the walker how much time they have to walk. There may also be flashing lights. Though signals are helpful, they should never replace a pedestrian’s judgment at a crosswalk.
- Crosswalk Lines. There are a couple of different types of road lines that can signify a crosswalk. Zebra stripes, or vertical stripes on the road, indicate a crosswalk, not at an intersection. These are typically used around schools and within neighborhoods. However, straight lines indicate a crosswalk at an intersection. Pedestrians should walk within these lines and watch for oncoming traffic.
Vehicles and Crosswalks
Vehicle drivers need to be aware of crosswalks, so they do not hit pedestrians. In general, motor vehicles must always yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. The following is information you should be aware of as the driver in consideration for crosswalks.
- Yielding to Pedestrians. Cars must yield to pedestrians in all situations, even if they are jaywalking. Cars must yield to people on the road and be aware of signals that may indicate a pedestrian crossing. A driver should not assume that a pedestrian will see them or that the pedestrian will yield.
- Drivers Being Cautious For Pedestrians. Due to their sheer size, cars need to be more cautious when approaching any stop sign or signal, so they do not injure or cause harm to pedestrians. Stay within lanes, follow traffic signals and be an alert driver. Remember that crosswalks are utilized to benefit the pedestrian, not you in the vehicle.
Pedestrian Laws and Rules for Walking
We are all pedestrians at one time or another, so it is vital to know the laws put in place to keep those commuting by foot safe. Read Utah laws for drivers and pedestrians to know what to do.
Driver Laws With Regard to Pedestrians
- 12.76.050 – Whatever the situation, drivers must do all they can to avoid colliding with a pedestrian.
- 12.76.045A – Drivers must yield to pedestrians within crosswalks by completely stopping. While the car is stopped at the crosswalk, the approaching vehicles from the rear must also stop.
- 12.48.030 – When coming to a stop sign, drivers must stop before entering the crosswalk.
- 12.48.050, 12.56.440 – Drivers should not obstruct pedestrians by positioning their cars in the crosswalk.
- 12.48.040 – Drivers must stop in front of the crosswalk and check for pedestrians.
- 12.48.100 – When approaching a school bus from the front or the rear with flashing lights, motorists must stop until the lights stop flashing.
Laws For Pedestrians
- 12.76.010 – Pedestrians must use designated crosswalks, pedestrian tunnels, or overhead walkways to cross a roadway unless none are within a 700-foot distance. If there is no crosswalk, the pedestrian may take the shortest route to cross the street, using caution and yielding to all traffic.
- 12.04.110, 12.04.235, 12.04.595 – Every intersection is a crosswalk even if there are no painted lines.
- 12.32.055 – The walking person symbolizes WALK and allows the pedestrian to begin walking with caution. A raised hand, flashing or solid, indicates DON’T WALK or do not begin crossing. If the raised hand comes up while you are crossing, continue with care. The raised hand with a countdown timer shows how long you have to cross the roadway. You may begin to cross only if you can safely do so within the allotted time.
- 12.32.045(A) – At intersections with no pedestrian signals, pedestrians facing a green traffic signal may walk, excluding green arrows that allow vehicle traffic to turn. Pedestrians should not walk when facing a yellow or red traffic signal.
- 12.76.045(C)(2) – Even though pedestrians have the right-of-way, they should not create hazards.
- 12.76.060 – Pedestrians should use sidewalks when possible. If there are no sidewalks, the pedestrian should walk on the left side of the road and face traffic.
- 12.44.220(B) – Pedestrians must yield to all emergency vehicles with sirens or red lights. They should exit crosswalks immediately and remain out of the roadway until they pass.
- 12.76.090, 14.20.100, 14.28.050 – Pedestrians should not obstruct other pedestrians.
- 41-6-79.20 – Pedestrians cannot pass through or around any railroad gate while the gate is closed or being opened or closed.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
- Never assume a driver sees you! Make eye contact with the driver before crossing the street.
- Watch for vehicles. Never step in front of a car. You may have the legal right-of-way but only cross when it is safe to do so.
- Do not run or ride anything while in a crosswalk. However, try to get across the street as fast as possible.
- If there is a pedestrian walk button, use it!
- Wear reflective gear and bright colors if possible.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Pedestrian accidents are increasing, and statistics point out the severity of the problem:
- In 2015, 1,040 pedestrians were struck by motor vehicles in Utah. There were 901 injured, and 49 were killed.
- Pedestrian accidents account for 1% of crashes but 13% of deaths.
- 5:00-6:00 p.m. is the most dangerous time for pedestrian accidents
- Children ages 10-19 are most vulnerable to pedestrian accidents. Drivers are most likely to be 20-29 years old, followed by 15-19 years old.
Major factors contributing to pedestrian accidents are:
- Failed to yield right of way (33%)
- Hit and run (14%)
- Driver distraction (8%)
- Weather (4%)
- Improper backing (4%)
According to the Utah Department of Public Safety:
- Pedestrian crashes are 10.6 times more likely to result in death than other crashes.
- One-half (49%) of the pedestrians in crashes were under 25 years of age.
- 33% of drivers who hit pedestrians do so while turning.
Although most pedestrians involved in an accident do not contribute to the crash, the leading contributing factors to pedestrian accidents are:
- Improper crossing (13%)
- Darting (7%)
- Entering the roadway improperly (5%)
The location of pedestrians in crashes is:
- In a marked crosswalk (41%)
- In a roadway and not at an intersection/crosswalk (28%)
- Road shoulder (8%)
- Unmarked crosswalk (7%)
- Sidewalk (5%)
Vehicle action prior to a crash is:
- Traveling straight ahead (47%)
- Turning left (17%)
- Turning right (16%)
- Backing (8%)
- Parking (5%)
Motorists and pedestrians must be vigilant of the dangers and pay attention to the conditions around them. They should always exercise caution and follow traffic laws.
Pedestrian Accident Resources
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that, on average, a pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes. Pedestrian accident resources can help you avoid a collision and find the help you need if you’re in a crash.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
NHTSA is a government organization that studies traffic behavior and makes recommendations for safe practices. The NHTSA webpage provides safe walking tips for pedestrians, research and statistics, curriculum and resources, and other related resources involving pedestrians. NHTSA reminds people that “everyone is a pedestrian.” Therefore, available resources should be used to improve quality of life and reduce fatalities and injuries due to pedestrian accidents.
Utah Department of Health VIPP
The Utah Department of Health VIPP webpage on Violence and Injury Prevention Program talks about pedestrian safety. The page also provides safety tips and helpful videos.
Heads Up Utah
The Heads Up website provides pedestrian statistics, infographics, and safety tips for motorists and pedestrians.
National Pedestrian Crash Report
This report, published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is a comprehensive compilation of statistics and analyses relating to pedestrian accidents.
Salt Lake City Utah Accident Book
Christensen & Hymas founding partner Ken Christensen wrote a book entitled “7 Biggest Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Utah Accident Case.” You can request the book free of charge. This book is a wonderful guide for those involved in an accident and planning to claim compensation. It guides readers on what to avoid to not jeopardize their compensation claim.
Of course, the best recourse is to consult a personal injury lawyer committed to helping you successfully get the compensation you deserve. Give yourself a break and avoid the mistakes that will cause you headaches and more pain. Call Christensen & Hymas at (801)-506-0800 for a free initial consultation.
Pedestrian Accident FAQs
Learn more about crashes and your rights with these pedestrian accident FAQs answered by our Utah personal injury attorneys:
What is the definition of a pedestrian?
A pedestrian is a person walking along a road or in a developed area. They are people who travel on foot. State and local laws create rules for when and how pedestrians use the roadways.
Do crosswalks exist at intersections?
While all intersections are considered pedestrian areas, not every intersection has a marked crosswalk. All intersections are considered appropriate places for pedestrians to cross unless the roadway is too busy or has high speed limits. On busy roads, there is usually a bridge or skyway.
When do cars yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian?
If the pedestrian is crossing in a crosswalk, the vehicle must always yield the right of way. Because the car is so much bigger than the pedestrian, they must yield in most circumstances. However, pedestrians may not obstruct traffic or create a hazard.
If you are on a sidewalk as a pedestrian, how aware do you need to be?
As a pedestrian on a sidewalk, you should always be completely aware of your surroundings. Depending on the street and the time of the day, the passing cars could be quite congested. If this is the case, you as the pedestrian need to be very aware of your surroundings if you experience a distracted driver. Be sure to use your senses, such as sound and sight, to know what is happening around you. This way, if a car does swerve, you are not implicated.
Do pedestrians have to use sidewalks?
Yes, pedestrians have to use sidewalks. If there is a sidewalk provided, you must use it rather than walk in the road. If there is no sidewalk provided, pedestrians should walk to the left of the road so cars can see them.
If you see a car can the car see you?
If you see a car, they may not see you. The best option to assume is that the driver cannot always see you. Blind spots, distractions, and even signals could potentially keep the driver from seeing you on the sidewalk or crossing the road, even in a marked intersection. Before crossing, make eye contact with the driver to solidify that you both see each other.
Do traffic signals also apply to pedestrians?
Yes, traffic signals apply to both the driver and the pedestrian. Crosswalk lights determine when a pedestrian may cross and when they should not. However, traffic signals do not replace common sense. If the signals are advising you as the pedestrian not to cross, then you should not cross!
Do pedestrians have to stop at railroad crossings?
Yes, pedestrians have to stop at railroad crossings. Pedestrians may not cross if railroad crossings are down. They must not cross underneath signs or other barriers.
Our Utah Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Are Ready to Help
The attorneys at Christensen & Hymas are here to fight for your rights and make sure that you receive compensation for your medical expenses, your lost wages, and your pain and suffering. Our attorneys personally handle every case we take, serving every client with compassion and integrity. Our goal is to be the best pedestrian accident attorneys near you who handle your case from start to finish.
Christensen & Hymas cares for the welfare of pedestrians who are injured because a driver failed to obey traffic rules and share the road. Call us at (801)-506-0800 for a free initial consultation. We will help you get your just compensation.