Kline Legal Group P.L.C.

Pedestrians must stay vigilant for traffic threats

Because pedestrians in Michigan and around the country face significant safety challenges, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has published advice to promote safe foot travel. Sidewalks help to keep people out of harm's way, and people should walk on them whenever they are present. In the absence of sidewalks, people need to walk on the side of the road facing traffic and try to stay as far out of the lane as possible.

Pedestrians also have an obligation to obey road signs and traffic signals so that drivers should be able to predict their movements. Drivers also expect pedestrians to cross streets at intersections or on marked crosswalks. The distractions of smartphones and music players should be avoided. They could prevent someone from noticing an approaching vehicle or hearing a horn or siren.

When people do not have a crosswalk or intersection available to assist with road crossing, they should cross in a well-lit area and constantly look in all directions for moving vehicles. People should never make the assumption that drivers see them. Their actions should always be careful and defensive to avoid being run over. Pedestrians should also consider wearing bright or reflective clothing to enhance their visibility.

Injuries tend to be severe in auto-pedestrian accidents. The victim might suffer financial hardship because of high medical bills and missing work during recovery. If a driver made an error or violated a traffic law, such as not yielding to a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk, then the victim might choose to work with an attorney on a personal injury claim. An attorney could use evidence from the police report, witnesses and medical records to demonstrate the driver's negligence and estimate the amount of damages.

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