When a crosswalk light indicates that pedestrians may walk, people incorrectly assume that it's safe to walk. Even if the sign itself says this, you should not take it as a guaranty of safety. Neither the sign nor the crosswalk pavement paint will stop a car from running a red light and injuring you. In other words, you should never let your guard down when crossing an intersection or a street even when on a crosswalk. Only by staying alert, looking both ways, and watching your back, will you remain safe.
How Pedestrians Are Injured on Crosswalks
Pedestrian personal injuries are inflicted by motorists for various reasons. As mentioned above, aggressive motorists intent on beating a yellow light speed up and commit themselves to getting through the intersection no matter what. This causes them to run red lights when they miscalculate. That's why you should look both ways before crossing.
Aggressive drivers turning left may attempt to beat opposing traffic by accelerating and rapidly turning left. Because of their speed and narrow focus, they can fail to see you and stop in time. This is why you should watch your back. Some pedestrian lights are timed so this won't happen, but you should never count on it.
Drivers turning right on red may not see you because they are talking on the phone, texting, using the radio, or are otherwise distracted. They could also be speeding and making hard right turns or perhaps are intoxicated. There are countless reckless and negligent reasons why motorists fail to see you.
Yet another reason crosswalks are not necessarily safe is they're located in places where the pedestrian isn't easily seen by motorists. For example, crosswalks may be located near blind turns or hills. A dip in the road may only allow motorists to see the top half of your body and prevent them from seeing the painted crosswalk lines. Signs alerting motorists to a crosswalk can become covered in foliage.
However, accidents can still happen in spite of your best safety efforts. In all of the circumstances described above, you are using a crosswalk that indicated that you can cross. If you're injured in such a situation, you should seek legal advice about getting compensation from the party responsible. If you have any questions about pedestrian personal injury claims, please contact us.