Pedestrian Right of Way in Colorado – When is a Driver at Fault for Hitting You?
Pedestrian accidents are all too common. Busy intersections and on quiet neighborhood roads both see their share. In either case, the injuries suffered can be severe and life threatening.
Disregarding traffic conditions and clues from drivers could put you at risk. There are many situations where pedestrians have the right of way, but you need to follow the law. The following outlines some of the laws about pedestrians in our area. Additionally, we discuss situations in which drivers are at fault for pedestrian accidents.
Driver Actions That Endanger Pedestrians
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that pedestrian accidents injure 65,000 each year. Close to 5,000 more die as a result of their injuries. In Colorado alone, 13 percent of all traffic fatalities are pedestrians. The reckless and negligent actions of drivers are often to blame.
NHTSA pedestrian accident studies show that 40 percent of pedestrian fatalities involve drivers under the influence of alcohol. The time of day, traffic and weather conditions are also often factors. Other factors that contribute to injuries include:
- Speeding and driving too fast for conditions;
- Running red lights or failing to stop and stop signs;
- Distracted driving, such as using cellphones or texting;
- Improper passing and failing to keep within their proper lane;
- Failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and intersections.
Pedestrian Right of Way Laws
Throughout the Denver area, there are crosswalks on busy streets. You will also find them outside schools and recreation centers. Many also provide signals indicating when it is safe to cross or not. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CODOT) state laws give pedestrians the right of way in these crosswalks or when pedestrian WALK signals are flashing. When crossing mid-block in places without crosswalks or when the DON’T WALK signal occurs, pedestrians should yield to traffic.
Even if a pedestrian accident occurs where the motorist had the right of way, the driver could be to blame. If they were engaged in any type of reckless or illegal behavior, fault shifts to them. To protect themselves CODOT urges pedestrians to not rely on crosswalks or signals alone, and to follow these tips to ensure their safety:
- Look left, then right, then left again before crossing;
- Try to make eye contact with motorist to ensure they see you;
- Stay on the right side of the crosswalk and walk as quickly as possible;
- Be particularly alert for cars behind you or those that are turning.
A Denver Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help You Today
If you have been injured as the result of a pedestrian accident, contact the Law Office of Steve Roberts, LLC right away. We’re happy to discuss your case during a free consultation.