According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), nearly 5,000 pedestrians die in motor vehicle-related accidents each year. While drivers are at fault in many cases, there are some cases where the pedestrian is actually the cause of the accident.
Similar to motorists, pedestrians must exercise reasonable care for their own safety. The care required needs to be proportionate to the danger to be avoided and reasonably anticipated consequences.
Several of the most common factors contributing to pedestrian negligence include the following:
- Ignoring the “walk” signal at an intersection.
- Failing to use marked crosswalks
- Entering traffic and disrupt the flow
- Darting in front of a vehicle
If a pedestrian fails to exercise reasonable care and contributed to the cause of their own injuries, comparative negligence may be assessed against a pedestrian. For example, say a pedestrian is jaywalking a street while a car going a few miles over the speed limit makes a turn on the street and strikes the pedestrian. If a pedestrian and motorist both violate the law, then the motorist could establish the pedestrian negligence by demonstrating the pedestrian violated a relevant law as well. So if the pedestrian brings a lawsuit against a motorist for injuries, he or she may recover damages if he or she is found to be less than half responsible for the injury.