Liability of hitting pedestrian at crosswalk not meeting federal guidelines

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yhelothar

Lifer
Dec 11, 2002
18,408
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If you hit a pedestrian at an uncontrolled crosswalk with no lights or stop signs that did not meet federal standards from studies that show that placing an uncontrolled crosswalk at that location is unsafe, are you at fault?

In 2005, the Federal Highway Administration found that on multi-lane roads with traffic volumes above about 12,000 vehicles per day, having a marked crosswalk alone (without other substantial improvements) was associated with a higher pedestrian crash rate (after controlling for other site factors) compared to an unmarked crosswalk. Raised medians provided significantly lower pedestrian crash rates on multi-lane roads, compared to roads with no raised median. More substantial improvements were recommended to provide for safer pedestrian crossings on certain roads, such as adding traffic signals with pedestrian signals when warranted, providing raised medians, speed-reducing measures, and others[1].


The crossing where the incident occurred was a multi-lane road(6 lanes) and according to traffic count data conducted by the County of Los Angeles shows that the average traffic on the road as well above the 12,000 vehicle per day traffic volume[2]. Additionally, there is no raised median on this crosswalk and none of the additional recommendations for safer pedestrian crossings were present. These conditions are clearly described as not recommended for marked crosswalks by the authors of this study.

References:
1. Zegeer, Charles, J. Richard Stewart, Herman H. Huang, and Peter A. Lagerwey. 2005. Safety Effects of Marked vs. Unmarked Crosswalks at Uncontrolled Locations, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC.http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/04100/04100.pdf

2. LA County Traffic Counts http://ladpw.org/tnl/trafficcounts/
 
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twinrider1

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2003
4,096
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Does recommending equal requiring? What you quoted sounds like a federal study, not federal guidelines.

My first thought is good for mitigation, but not for getting off the hook completely.
 

yhelothar

Lifer
Dec 11, 2002
18,408
39
91
That's a good point. I had difficulty finding information regarding federal requirements regarding the recommendations from the first study. However, the stop/yield line in advance is a requirement outlined by the MUTCD, and that was not present.

In terms of mitigation, it's already a civil suit, so it's more of an issue of who will pay for the medical bills and the pain and suffering.
 
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jaedaliu

Platinum Member
Feb 25, 2005
2,670
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well, if it occured in california, it's the driver's fault.

Of course the driver can try suing someone else.
 

yhelothar

Lifer
Dec 11, 2002
18,408
39
91
No broken bones. She had her wrist slit when it hit the popup light on my Miata and she was bleeding everywhere.
 

leper84

Senior member
Dec 29, 2011
989
29
86
No broken bones. She had her wrist slit when it hit the popup light on my Miata and she was bleeding everywhere.

Get a damn good lawyer and stop talking about it. Anywhere. Most of all where there is an unerasable text record. Like right here. It doesn't matter if you're right or not its who argues best, don't give any more to their argument.
 

yhelothar

Lifer
Dec 11, 2002
18,408
39
91
Get a damn good lawyer and stop talking about it. Anywhere. Most of all where there is an unerasable text record. Like right here. It doesn't matter if you're right or not its who argues best, don't give any more to their argument.

I'm trying to get for my argument. :|
 

Zenmervolt

Elite member
Oct 22, 2000
24,512
21
81
Here in Washington, even if the crosswalk is marked, pedestrians only have right of way once they've left the curb (assuming that there's not a "Walk/Don't Walk" signal at the crosswalk). Pedestrians are still prohibited from entering the crosswalk if there is not sufficient room for a car to stop safely.

For example, if a pedestrian steps into a crosswalk when a car is only 10 feet away, the pedestrian, not the driver, is technically at fault.

Most pedestrians, however, do not know this and tend to wrongly treat the crosswalk as though it means pedestrians may enter it at any time.

It looks like CA has a similar law:

California Vehicle Code Section 21950

Right of Way at Crosswalks

21950. (a) The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

(b) This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.

(c) The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.

(d) Subdivision (b) does not relieve a driver of a vehicle from the duty of exercising due care for the safety of any pedestrian within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.

Note the section in bold.

As always, consult an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. I am not a licensed attorney in any jurisdiction.

ZV
 

JulesMaximus

No Lifer
Jul 3, 2003
74,459
854
126
Here in Washington, even if the crosswalk is marked, pedestrians only have right of way once they've left the curb (assuming that there's not a "Walk/Don't Walk" signal at the crosswalk). Pedestrians are still prohibited from entering the crosswalk if there is not sufficient room for a car to stop safely.

For example, if a pedestrian steps into a crosswalk when a car is only 10 feet away, the pedestrian, not the driver, is technically at fault.

Most pedestrians, however, do not know this and tend to wrongly treat the crosswalk as though it means pedestrians may enter it at any time.

It looks like CA has a similar law:



Note the section in bold.

As always, consult an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. I am not a licensed attorney in any jurisdiction.

ZV

Good luck proving that in a court of law. OP is fucked. Hope he has good insurance.
 

Zenmervolt

Elite member
Oct 22, 2000
24,512
21
81
Good luck proving that in a court of law. OP is fucked. Hope he has good insurance.

Yes, because there's no possible way there could be witnesses or evidence from skid mark length, etc. The only way things happen in court are two people with no evidence making contradictory claims. And pointing out the applicable law can't possibly ever help. :rolleyes:

The OP needs to consult an attorney licensed to practice in his jurisdiction and use such evidence as he has available as best he can. Knowing what the law is and what he might need to show can only help.

ZV
 

yhelothar

Lifer
Dec 11, 2002
18,408
39
91
Thank you for the additional suggestions.

My insurance will be providing an attorney. I will do my best to provide this information.
 
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