Is Jaywalking Ever Worth the Risk?
Our Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Says No
The simple answer here is no. To begin with, you are legally liable if a police officer sees you. Second, the risk of an injury or even death, compared to the relatively miniscule reward of crossing to the other side quickly, is not worth it.
Thousands of pedestrians die every year. Sadly, most of these incidents could’ve been avoided if the victim did not decide to jaywalk. What this tells us is that the top cause of death among pedestrians has something to do with jaywalking, which is a violation where a pedestrian crosses the street against regulations.
According to studies, drivers will not run a red light in intersections. They know the dangers associated with it. However, pedestrians do not behave in the same way. They will cross intersections even at a red light. Why? According to any qualified pedestrian accident lawyer who handle cases like this, it is because they want to save time.
Crossing the street is not as simple as it seems. Your brain has to process information coming from your vision and sense of hearing. Without giving yourself time to make a proper judgment, you may miscalculate a car’s speed and be on the receiving end of a crash. Let us identify the three types of risks of jaywalking.
The Risks of the Pedestrian
Perception risk – The first danger in jaywalking is that pedestrians are distracted. Most people who walk on the same path will not even wait for the green light before crossing, simply because they are already familiar with the road. Some people even cross the street while using their cell phones.
Alcohol risk – Drunk people make bad decisions; it’s been scientifically proven. Researchers also agree that drunk pedestrians have a higher risk of involvement in a pedestrian accident. Both drunk drivers and drunk pedestrians are alike in that they tend to act foolishly, with little regard for their own safety. If drunk, a pedestrian may be bold enough to cross the street even if there is a car coming their way fast.
Speed and Pace of Life – If you are always in a hurry, you are better off using footbridges or an underpass. Studies revealed that pedestrian non-compliance usually has something to do with people’s busy schedules. Many individuals in urban cities prefer not to wait because they are running late. This risk is not worth it. Plan your activities carefully and avoid being late. This way, you do not feel pressured to put your life at risk just to make that next appointment or meeting.
The Risks of the Driver
A fundamental mistake of pedestrians is to think that drivers are obedient and that they do not commit errors. The sad truth is that many drivers are at-fault in pedestrian accidents. Whenever you cross the street, you must consider a driver’s behavior.
Driver perception – Some drivers think that people will stop walking if they do not stop or slow down their car. But the pedestrians, who are thinking of the same thing, will continue crossing. Drivers are also not familiar with some routes and may not know which part of the city is dense or which part of the town has many people crossing the street. Also, as a pedestrian, you will never really know if a driver is drunk until an accident happens. Any good pedestrian accident lawyer knows that drunk driving is one of the leading causes of car crashes.
Driver speed – Some drivers like to turn a road into a racetrack. They hit high speeds thinking that their reflexes should be enough to slam the brakes if need be. What if they fail to do so? Even if you’re a safe and cautious pedestrian, you may not be able to tell how fast a speeding car is actually going until it’s too late.
The Risks of the Environment
Width of Roads – Not all cities are created equal. Every place has a different layout. Some road structures are so wide that they affect drivers’ behavior. In some towns, intersections have wide curves, and this makes drivers turn abruptly instead of slowing down.
This behavior happens because of the wide space. Drivers believe that on roads like this, they have enough room to maneuver and avoid a pedestrian. However, the pedestrian accident and injury statistics in such places indicate otherwise.
No crosswalks – Not all cities have crosswalks. This lack of a proper crossing area is one reason people jaywalk. There are not enough places to cross. In the absence of crossing areas, drivers tend to speed. And once they hit high speed, do not expect them to slow down. Your only option is to find the nearest pedestrian lane or footbridge and use it.
Get a Top 1% Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent driver, please call us at 1-800-52-CRASH to receive a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more.