Pedestrians are subject to more serious injuries than those in motor vehicles when involved in collisions due to their relative lack of protection and safety devices. As a result, pedestrians and drivers must be aware of the other’s presence to prevent such collisions where possible.
A Louisiana woman was recently killed while walking along a highway. The woman was walking with traffic next to the highway when she was struck by an SUV traveling in the same direction. The impact launched her an estimated 14 feet off of the highway, causing significant injuries. The driver of the SUV continued down the road after the collision, claiming she didn’t see anything but noticed an impact with her vehicle. She went back to the scene of the collision and noticed that she had struck a pedestrian. The accident is currently under investigation by authorities.
Car accidents that involve pedestrians invoke the same rules of liability as other motor vehicle accidents. Liability for such collisions is governed by negligence. Under this rule, an injured pedestrian must show that a driver owed them a duty to apply reasonable care, which is typically assumed when vehicles are involved. They must also show that the driver violated this duty, that the duty caused the accident and that they were injured as a result. Actions that may evidence negligence on the part of a driver include distracted driving, speeding and failing to yield to pedestrians where appropriate.
Highways are an especially dangerous area for pedestrians and drivers to share the road because of the higher speeds and lack of walking area for pedestrians typically associated with such roads. Drivers must be aware of their surroundings and the possible presence of pedestrians in such areas. A failure to do so may lead to significant injuries and expose them to serious liability.
Source: Shreveport Times, “Pedestrian killed in Sabine Parish accident,” April 13, 2014