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When Are Pedestrians At Fault?

A proper amount of due caution on the part of both pedestrians and motorists could prevent many accidents. Both parties are responsible for following the rules of the road. A portion of the blame, or contributory negligence, may be placed on a pedestrian, therefore, it’s important to exercise caution when walking on or near a roadway. Here are a few common circumstances in which a pedestrian may be found at fault for an accident.


These laws exist for a reason. You are more likely to be hit by a car if you choose to cross the road in a place where a vehicle is not expecting you. Drivers must be aware at all times of their surroundings, but a motorist may be more likely to allow themselves to be distracted when they are not at an intersection or approaching a crosswalk. At an intersection it is the responsibility of the car driver to yield to you. When you jaywalk, the driver may not be able to take evasive action to avoid a collision. If you get involved in an accident while jaywalking, the fault for the accident is likely to be yours.

Ignoring Traffic Controls

Safety devices are at busy intersections for the purpose of lessening the chance of an accident. When a “don’t walk” signal is ignored, pedestrians are putting themselves at great risk. Motorists tend to assume that the signals will be obeyed. As a result, they will not expect someone to be crossing the street when the “don’t walk” signal is lit. If a pedestrian is crossing against the light, he or she may be held responsible for causing the accident.

Children Running Into Traffic

Children may dart into traffic in pursuit of a ball or toy and cause an accident. It is the responsibility of a parent or a caregiver to make sure that children are safe.

Pedestrians Walking Alongside the Highway

Some roadways with little shoulder and high speed limits are not open to pedestrians. Drivers on these roads may not be looking out for pedestrians, and are less likely to notice them. If your car breaks down on one of these roads you must be extra careful to stay as far away from traffic as possible. Under no circumstances should you try to cross a highway or freeway on foot.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, please contact the Bernard Law Group to find out more information about your legal rights and options.

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