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Are Crosswalks Really Safe for Pedestrians?

Are Crosswalks Really Safe for Pedestrians

When walking to your destination in Minnesota, knowing the road and crosswalk laws is important. This is not only critical for your safety but to ensure other’s safety, too.

Remember, laws are put in place for a reason. Making sure you follow the law ensures that everyone is safer, regardless of how they choose to travel.

Even though there are laws in place to protect pedestrians, pedestrian accidents still happen frequently. Unfortunately, due to the weight and speed of a vehicle and the unprotected nature of a pedestrian, pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles often result in devastating consequences.

This has led to the question, “Are crosswalks really safe for pedestrians?”

Learn more about crosswalk laws in Minnesota here to discover what could be done to make the state safer for pedestrians.

Uncovering the Risks: Examining the Safety of Crosswalks for Pedestrians

At Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, we advocate for accident victims and help them recover the compensation they deserve while seeking justice on their behalf.

Minnesota Crosswalk Laws

Understanding the laws governing Minnesota crosswalks is crucial for drivers and pedestrians. It helps you know your rights and responsibilities, making the roads safer for everyone.  It will also make it easier to navigate the legal process should you need to consult a pedestrian accident attorney for an injury claim.

Right-of-Way at Crosswalks

In Minnesota, drivers must stop and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk.

Obligations of Pedestrians

Pedestrians must not suddenly walk or run into the path of a vehicle when it is so close that it’s impractical for the driver to stop. They should also obey any pedestrian control signals and not cross at any place except a marked crosswalk when within a block with traffic-control signals at both ends.

Liability and Compensation

Failure to adhere to these laws can result in penalties for drivers and could make them liable for any accidents.  Failure to adhere to these laws for pedestrians can lead to severe injuries, and make it difficult to prove liability on any involved driver.  In the unfortunate event of an accident, a pedestrian has the right to file an injury claim against any at fault driver. The victim may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, loss of income, and other damages, such as pain and suffering, which a pedestrian accident attorney can help facilitate.

By understanding and adhering to Minnesota’s crosswalk laws, drivers and pedestrians can contribute to safer roadways. If you find yourself involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s crucial to consult with a pedestrian accident attorney to guide you through filing an injury claim for compensation.

Accident Statistics

While pedestrian deaths nationwide are rising, this is not true in Minnesota. In 2022, 46 pedestrians in the state were hit and killed by vehicles, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

This is approximately the same as the number of fatalities in 1995, 2005, and 2015, though the count has fluctuated in the intervening years.

It is important to note that the population of Minnesota has increased significantly from 1995, when it was 4.6 million, to over 5.7 million. However, the number of pedestrian deaths has not increased considerably.

While true, any preventable death should be avoided. Learning more about how to stay safe as a pedestrian is the first step.

Common Reasons for Crosswalk Accidents

Crosswalk accidents can happen for several reasons; however, some are more common than others. The most common include the following:

Driver Negligence

Driver negligence is a leading cause of crosswalk accidents in Minnesota. This includes behaviors like speeding, distracted driving due to texting or talking on the phone, and impaired driving from alcohol or drugs.

Failure to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at marked crosswalks is another form of negligence and cause of these accidents. Such actions not only endanger the driver but also put pedestrians at significant risk, often necessitating the involvement of a pedestrian accident attorney to file an injury claim for compensation.

Poorly Designed Crosswalks

Crosswalks that are poorly designed can be a significant factor in pedestrian accidents. Inadequate signage, worn-out road markings, or a lack of appropriate lighting can make crosswalks dangerous for pedestrians.

Visibility issues may also make it difficult for drivers to notice pedestrians in time to stop. Accidents due to these factors can result in an injury claim, where victims may seek compensation for their damages.

Pedestrian Negligence

While drivers often carry the brunt of the responsibility for crosswalk accidents, pedestrian negligence can also be a contributing factor. Actions like jaywalking, disregarding traffic signals, or entering a crosswalk without making sure it’s safe to cross can lead to accidents. When pedestrians don’t follow the rules or pay attention to their surroundings, they risk their safety and complicate injury claims and compensation matters.

Filing an Injury Claim in Minnesota

If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident in Minnesota, you may be entitled to file an injury claim. Understanding the process is vital, as it can impact your ability to receive compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional suffering.

Know the Time Limit

Minnesota law imposes a statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including pedestrian accidents. Generally, you have six years from the accident date to file a claim based on negligence. Missing this deadline could mean losing your right to compensation, making it crucial to consult a pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible.

Gather Evidence

The more evidence you have to support your claim, the stronger it will be. This could include accident scene photographs, medical reports, witness statements, and security camera footage. This will help your pedestrian accident attorney build a compelling case on your behalf.

Consult an Attorney

Legal processes can be complicated, and navigating them alone can be overwhelming. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can guide you through the steps to file your injury claim. They will also handle negotiations with the insurance company to secure the best possible compensation for your damages.

By understanding the procedure and getting professional assistance, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the complexities of filing an injury claim in Minnesota.

The Role of a Pedestrian Accident Attorney

An attorney specialized in pedestrian accidents can help you gather evidence, identify responsible parties, and calculate the compensation you may be entitled to. Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and can even represent you in court if necessary.

Tips for Enhancing Crosswalk Safety

If you are using a crosswalk, take steps to increase your safety. These include:

  • Be Visible: Wear bright-colored clothing and use flags available at any crosswalks.
  • Make Eye Contact: Ensure that drivers see you before you begin crossing.
  • Obey Traffic Signals: Always wait for the walk signal, and don’t rush when the countdown starts.

Crosswalks are Not Foolproof

Crosswalks are designed with pedestrian safety in mind, but they are not foolproof solutions. Pedestrians and drivers must adhere to laws and exercise caution to minimize risks. If you are a pedestrian injured in a crosswalk accident in Minnesota, don’t hesitate to consult a pedestrian accident attorney to explore your options for filing an injury claim and seeking compensation.

While we all hope to never be in such a situation, knowing the rights and legal avenues available can make a significant difference in recovering from an accident physically and financially. Contact our pedestrian accident attorney at Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, for legal guidance or advice.

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