Both traffic laws and urban planning standards seek to protect pedestrians. Those who walk through the Washington DC area, including local residents and tourists, should be able to share spaces with vehicles safely, provided that everybody follows traffic rules.
Unfortunately, pedestrian collisions are very common in the Capital region. In fact, according to recent reports about collisions in the area, there has been an uptick in traffic collisions and pedestrian crashes in recent years that people need to know about for their own safety.
Pedestrians are more likely to die in a crash
When two vehicles collide, the occupants of those vehicles have the protection of a metal frame and restraint systems. The vehicle will absorb some of the force of the crash, while its safety systems can help protect people from injury and death. Pedestrians don’t have any of those safety features to limit the consequences of a crash. Therefore, even at moderately low speeds, pedestrians are at risk of severe injury and death. The lack of protection is one reason why pedestrians represent an outsized portion of the traffic fatalities that occur annually. Of the more than 300 traffic deaths in Washington DC in 2022, 18 were pedestrians.
Pedestrians and their loved ones have rights
When someone fails to look for a pedestrian in the parking lot or crosswalk and causes a crash, that motorist will likely have responsibility for the consequences of that wreck. Their car insurance policy can reimburse the people affected for their property damage losses, medical bills and lost wages. Sometimes, when pedestrians have a vehicle of their own, they may have coverage on their insurance policy that increases the protection available to them. Other times, pedestrians injured in a crash or those who lost a loved one in a pedestrian collision will need to pursue a lawsuit against the motorist to blame or other parties that may have partial liability.
Taking appropriate action after pedestrian crashes with the assistance of a legal professional is generally both wise and justified when people get hurt as a result of the misconduct and negligence of others.