The Pedestrian Does Not Always Have The Right Of Way

The sad truth of the matter is that when it comes to physics, might makes right. In a contest between a person walking across the road, and a car propelling itself down that same road, when the two make contact, the speed and weight of a car is always going to win against a human being. Someone getting hit by a car is always going to be worse off physically than the car.

However, as tragic as any injury is to a person during an automobile accident, there’s one thing that needs to be cleared up immediately, especially for the purposes of a clear, final legal resolution. Fault needs to be assigned and, surprisingly, it is not always 100% with the driver.

Negligence Goes Both Ways

While physics will always rule in favor of the car when it comes to car versus person, the same is not always true in a lawsuit. There’s no doubting that the sheer physical power of an automobile always makes it a danger to a human being when two confront, and this is why drivers are always taught that the “pedestrian always has the right of way.” This simply means that when you are aware that a person is on the street, it’s always advisable to let the person complete their activity, rather than expecting them to defer to you.

But just because you, in a more powerful vehicle, must give way to pedestrians, that doesn’t mean that in an accident they are always clear of wrong doing. There are instances when being a pedestrian in an accident mean that the case is usually going to go in favor of that pedestrian. A very clear example is if a pedestrian is crossing at a street corner when a the crossing indicator gives the signal to begin crossing. In this instance, the pedestrian has EVERY right of way, and if an automobile hits that pedestrian while they are legally crossing, the fault is invariably going to be with the driver. But if the pedestrian is jay walking, or worse yet, is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and staggers out onto the road without warning, these circumstances are more likely to favor the driver.

For example, in December 2015, in Turkey, a group of five young men stopped a road trip at night, got out of their car, and walked into the middle of the road. They then lay down on the road, wearing dark clothes, in attempt to get photographs of themselves, “selfies” with air planes from the nearby airport in the background. Two of the men were killed when a truck driver came down the road and did not see them there.

In this instance, it would be extremely difficult to blame the truck driver for the incident, as these men were placing their lives at risk by lying down in the middle of the road, at night. This is why, if you get into an accident where a pedestrian is involved, you should seek the help of an auto accident lawyer immediately, and not assume the worst.