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Avoiding pedestrian accidents in Michigan

A pedestrian versus car accident will almost always result in zero injuries for the motorist, while causing catastrophic injuries to the pedestrian. Pedestrians do not have any protection against the weight of a motor vehicle, while drivers are armed with airbags and a heavy steel frame. This is why Michigan state laws favor pedestrians when it comes to fault and liability relating to such a crash.

According to the law, drivers need to look out for pedestrians, give them the right-of-way (especially at intersections and crosswalks), and they must use an extra amount of care when they are in areas where pedestrians may be present, like in residential neighborhoods and parking lots.

As for the pedestrians themselves, there are some things we can do to stay safer when we take to the streets. For one, pedestrians should know who is most at risk of getting into a crash: 1) people who are 65 and older; 2) children aged 5 to 15; and 3) pedestrians who have been drinking alcohol. If you fall under one of these demographics or are with someone who does, take extra care while walking on the roadway.

Here are a couple things you can do to stay safe: 1) increase your visibility with reflective clothes and a flashlight or a blinking clip-on light; 2) only cross the street at designated crosswalks and/or intersections; and 3) always walk on the sidewalk but if you must walk on the road, walk in a direction that faces traffic on the shoulder of the road, and always be poised to jump out of the way if need be.

If an unfortunate accident happens and you or a family member are injured as pedestrians in a car crash, a viable claim for financial damages relating to the accident may exist. By speaking with a personal injury attorney, you can gain insight as to the strengths and weaknesses of your potential lawsuit.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Pedestrian Safety," accessed Jan. 07, 2016

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Law Offices of Harris & Literski
123 Brighton Lake Road, Suite 205
Brighton, MI 48116

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