As winter finally releases its grip on Minnesota and warmer temperatures come, more pedestrians will be out and about on our state's streets. Some people prefer to walk to their destinations rather than drive, especially if roads are congested, if they want to reduce their carbon footprint, or if they simply want to enjoy some fresh air and exercise. However, motorists must keep in mind that pedestrians have every right to share the road. The failure of motorists to drive with due care around pedestrians could lead to an accident that injures or kills the pedestrian.
Of course, pedestrians can also take steps to stay safe on the roads. This includes crossing the street at designated crosswalks, crossing the street when they have the right of way, walking on sidewalks or on the correct side of the road, avoiding distractions and not darting into traffic.
However, motorists must also take care to avoid pedestrian accidents. A motorist who is drunk or distracted may not see a pedestrian until it is too late. Motorists should also follow all road signs and traffic signals. Failing to do so could lead to a pedestrian accident, even if a pedestrian is at a crosswalk and has the right of way. Passing other motorists stopped at a crosswalk and speeding could also lead to a pedestrian accident.
When a pedestrian is injured or killed, they or their loved ones may find themselves facing significant financial damages. There may be medical expenses to deal with, emotional trauma, lost wages and pain and suffering. Therefore, pedestrians who are injured by negligent motorists may want to determine if they have grounds for pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.