The mere presence of a crosswalk does not necessarily mean an intersection is safe. In fact, intersections are one of the main sites of car accidents, even when there is a crosswalk for pedestrians and cyclists. Drivers are often the cause of these accidents, but they are rarely hurt. Unlike cyclists and pedestrians, motorists have the protection of a strong steel frame around them when they are in a crash. Still, it is critical that drivers know important crosswalk safety tips too, so they are not found negligent and held liable for paying damages after a crash.
How Pedestrians Can Avoid A Crosswalk Accident
It is most important for pedestrians to know how to avoid being injured at a busy crosswalk in Atlanta. They are most likely to sustain very serious injury if they are struck while in a crosswalk. First and foremost, it is critical that anyone walking only uses a crosswalk to cross the street. If they do not, they are not only at a greater risk of being hurt, but also of forfeiting their legal rights if they are injured. The most important crosswalk safety tips for pedestrians to remember are as follows:
- Obey all pedestrian signs: It is most important to pay attention to walk signals and other pedestrian signs. If the signal indicates not to walk, never do, even if the light is green.
- Look left-right-left: You do have to look both ways before crossing the street, but you should also look left, right, and then left again. This will help ensure there are no vehicles approaching the crosswalk.
- Make eye contact: To ensure the drivers at the crosswalk see you, make eye contact with them before you cross.
- Make sure all lanes are clear: When crossing a crosswalk that crosses more than one lane, it is important to make sure all lanes are clear before crossing. Just because a driver waves you on does not mean other drivers have seen you, or that they are prepared to stop.
- Do not assume drivers will stop: You do have many rights when you are in a crosswalk, but that does not mean all drivers will uphold them. Do not assume any driver will stop just because they are approaching a crosswalk. Remain on the sidewalk and wait until all cars have stopped before using the crosswalk.
- Do not walk while distracted: It is not just driving while distracted that is dangerous. Walking while looking at your phone or otherwise being distracted is also dangerous. Always keep your head up and watch where you are walking when in a crosswalk.
- Consider the weather conditions: Take extra care when there is solar glare, rain, or when walking in the dark. These conditions will make it more difficult for drivers to see you.
While the above safety tips are important for walkers, it is just as crucial that cyclists and drivers know how to keep safe, too.
How Bicyclists Can Avoid A Crosswalk Accident
Perhaps the most important crosswalk safety tip for bicyclists to remember is that they are only considered a pedestrian if they are walking their bike through the crosswalk. Therefore, they are required to act as vehicles, or they may forfeit their rights if there is an accident. As a vehicle, cyclists also need to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. Cyclists should also always obey traffic laws and signals designed for vehicles. When using bike paths or multi-use paths, it is important to use extra caution, as your actions will be unpredictable to pedestrians and cyclists.
How Drivers Can Avoid A Crosswalk Accident
No one ever wants to hurt anyone else while they are on the road, which is why it is important drivers also know crosswalk safety tips. The most important of course, is to stop for pedestrians and to remain stopped until at least the person has crossed the closest half of the roadway. Drivers should also keep an eye out for upcoming crosswalks, and be prepared to slow down or stop.
Lastly, when approaching a crosswalk at which other vehicles are stopped, it is important to never pass or overtake them. They may have stopped for a pedestrian you did not see, and that person may emerge in front of your vehicle before you have time to stop.
Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyer In Atlanta Can Help with Your Case
If you have been injured while using a crosswalk, our Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer at MG Law can advise you of your legal options. Call us today at 404-982-4219 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.