Pedestrian Rights in Arizona
Motorists present more of a danger to unprotected pedestrians than any other demographic, bicyclists included. As such, all drivers are legally required to protect pedestrians with safe driving decisions and caution, but the rights of a pedestrian go farther than that. Arizona law favors pedestrians, so in the event of a collision, drivers are usually considered negligent or otherwise at fault. Be aware of your rights while traveling; doing so can not only help if someone strikes you but can also prevent a pedestrian accident from happening in the first place.
The Definition of a Pedestrian
Although those traveling on foot do count as pedestrians, the legal definition of a pedestrian extends beyond that. Individuals using assisted mobility devices, powered or unpowered wheelchairs, and other lesser mobility devices that don’t qualify as bicycles are considered to be pedestrians as well. In general, if an individual can be expected to use a sidewalk instead of a bike lane or other portion of the road, they’re a pedestrian.
Arizona Pedestrian Rights
Pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks nearly universally, provided they obey prominent traffic signals and signs. Their right to safety at a crosswalk also applies to unmarked crosswalks in any intersection, which is simply the region where a crosswalk would normally be. Imagining the sidewalk to extend out through the street can help clarify the position of an unmarked crosswalk.
Drivers are expected to drive cautiously around intersections, parking lots, school zones, and other areas where pedestrians are usually found. Turn signals are especially important when concerning the interactions between driver and pedestrian; not utilizing your turn signals to alert other drivers, while illegal, is usually considered to be relatively minor, yet conversely, failing to use a turn signal with a pedestrian in view is a far more severe infraction.
Why then are pedestrians given more extensive protections than the average driver? Drivers are expected to know all relevant traffic laws and must have a certified driver’s license, but of course, there’s no such prerequisite to be a pedestrian: children and disabled individuals can’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle legally, yet they can walk on the sidewalk freely. Furthermore, drivers have certified, comprehensive protection in a crash with airbags, a crumple-resistant frame, and other defenses, whereas pedestrians have nothing—for those reasons, pedestrians have little asked of them and the burden of safety is shifted heavily towards motorists.
Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Arizona
Over 1,500 pedestrians are injured in Arizona accidents annually, and over 10 percent of those same accidents are fatal. As one might expect, nearly 100 percent of all pedestrian injuries cause minor to severe injuries, so there’s always something to receive compensation for, whether it be medical bills, lost wages, emotional trauma, pain and suffering, or other damages.
If you’ve been hurt as a pedestrian by the negligence of an Arizona driver, schedule a free consultation today by calling ELG at (623) 877-3600. Our compassionate attorneys have years of experience helping local victims of pedestrian accidents and can help you secure the settlement you deserve while taking the burden of the claims process off of your shoulders.