Walking has become a risky business, especially on crowded Michigan roads. Pedestrians are being killed or seriously injured by motorists in record numbers. The laws surrounding pedestrian accidents are complex, and obtaining the benefits you’re entitled to can be overwhelming. Therefore, it’s wise to hire an experienced pedestrian accident attorney if you or a loved one is hurt in a crash.Do You Have a Case?
Here are five of the most significant factors affecting pedestrian safety. A qualified pedestrian accident lawyer will do what it takes to achieve a successful outcome in any situation.
Many pedestrians cross busy streets on their own because there are no crosswalks or traffic signals. Or, sometimes the crosswalks are spaced too far apart. Research shows most people will not walk more than 300 feet to access a crosswalk. Therefore, many pedestrians are forced to take dangerous risks that often end in tragedy.
Surprisingly, Michigan has no specific laws governing the use of crosswalks. Therefore, most municipalities follow the Michigan Uniform Traffic Code. According to this law, pedestrians have the right of way if they are on the same half of the road as an approaching vehicle. In addition, drivers must yield to pedestrians who are obeying traffic signals in a crosswalk. Furthermore, motorists are not required to come to a complete stop in many situations. This can be hazardous for pedestrians who are expecting traffic to stop while they cross the street. With no laws laying out the exact guidelines of crosswalks in Michigan, an experienced pedestrian accident attorney can help you navigate through your case if you’re involved in an accident with a motor vehicle.
Pedestrians struck by SUVs are twice as likely to be killed as people who are hit by smaller vehicles. This is because SUVs are larger, heavier and have higher front-end profiles. Significantly more drivers are buying larger vehicles such as SUVs and pick-up trucks than in the past. This means more pedestrians will die or be seriously injured if they’re involved in an accident.
Distracted drivers and walkers are responsible for an increasing amount of serious crashes. An alarming number of motorists and pedestrians are being killed or severely hurt in accidents involving cell phones or other electronic devices. Pedestrians are often looking down at their phones or listening to music on their headphones. In addition, drivers are engaging in other distracting behaviors such as eating, grooming or talking to passengers. When drivers and pedestrians alike are distracted, the results can be disastrous.
In the last decade, pedestrian deaths have increased by 51.5% across the country. However, in Detroit, the statistics are particularly alarming.
From 2010- 2016, there were 34.5 pedestrian fatalities for every 100,000 residents. Cities such as New York have cut pedestrian deaths by lowering speed limits and providing more crosswalks and street lights. However, Detroit has yet to follow suit, to the detriment of those who navigate the city on foot.
“The above factors, combined with the intricacies of Michigan No-Fault law make it hard for victims and their families to recover damages on their own,” says Mark Bernstein of The Sam Bernstein Law Firm. “A knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney will guide you through every step of the process and make sure you win the compensation you deserve.”
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