With the emergence of spring in the Denver area, more citizens are out walking. In a bizarre coincidence this Saturday, two pedestrians collided with cars along different points on Park Avenue. The first was near the intersection of E. Colfax Ave., and the other, two hours later, was close to the Lawrence St. junction. The pedestrians in both accidents sustained injuries and were transported to hospitals.
2016 Pedestrian Death Toll
The rate of pedestrian fatalities is rising more rapidly than those involving motorists, as roughly 6,000 individuals in the U.S. were killed in 2016. This statistic translates to an 11% increase over 2015, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Potential factors contributing to this trend include increases in driving resulting from an improving economy, affordable gas prices, and rises in the number of people walking for exercise purposes. Although difficult to confirm, many suggest that the root of the problem is that both drivers and walkers are too distracted by usage of mobile devices. Alcohol usage was a factor in 34% of pedestrian fatalities and 15% of those who died were drivers. The prevalence seems to occur in urban zones, with Delaware, Florida and Arizona being the three leading states for occurrence.
Denver Laws Relating to Pedestrian/Vehicle Contact
In the absence of traffic signals, drivers shall yield right-of-way to pedestrians at crosswalks on the side of the road that they are traveling, or when approaching closely from the other side of the roadway. No pedestrian shall abruptly leave the curb and enter the roadway when a vehicle is closely approaching. Pedestrians crossing roadways without crosswalks shall yield right-of-way to all vehicles. Pedestrians must use the crosswalks at intersections with operable traffic control devices.
Pedestrians must walk on the sidewalks adjacent to the road when they are provided. On roads without sidewalks, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road (or shoulder) facing approaching traffic. Pedestrian are prohibited from walking or standing on roads to solicit rides from drivers.
Driver Duty of Care
All drivers will exercise care to avoid colliding with pedestrians, and give warning as necessary when they notice children, blind, confused, or incapacitated individuals on the road.
Potential Damages That Liable Parties Face
In vehicle accidents involving pedestrians, drivers may be held civilly liable for injuries or deaths that occur, and be responsible for damages which include:
- Costs of medical expenses
- Funeral-related expenses
- Wages lost from time off of work
- Amounts for pain and anguish
- Amounts for disabilities or disfigurements
- Losses of consortium
Has someone’s negligent or careless driving habits made you an injury victim? Colorado law allows for those who endure losses and hardship to seek economic redress. The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal is dedicated to holding parties and their insurance companies accountable in cases of personal injury. Contact us for a free consultation at (303) 825.2223.