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Pedestrian Safety: Laws, Statistics & Safety Tips

Pedestrian accidentAs Norfolk pedestrian accident lawyers, our firm has helped numerous people who have been injured in accidents with motor vehicles as pedestrians. The unfortunate reality is that pedestrian accidents that should be entirely preventable are on the rise. In fact, pedestrian accidents accounted for 10% of traffic fatalities in Virginia in 2011. The statistics are shocking – consider the following information on accidents in 2011 from the National Highway and Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • Approximately 4,432 pedestrians were killed in the US by automobiles (14% of total traffic fatalities)
  • An estimated 69,000 pedestrians were injured in 2011
  • 11,000 of those injured in 2011 were age 14 and younger
  • 65% of those injured in 2011 were males
  • 2 out of 3 pedestrians were at hit at non-intersections
  • 1 in 2 pedestrians died on the weekend
  • 1 in 3 pedestrians died between the hours of 8 PM and midnight
  • 1 in 3 pedestrians were drunk

Virginia Pedestrian Laws

Drivers must stop for pedestrians in the State of Virginia. Whether a pedestrian is correctly crossing at the crosswalk with the light or trying to jaywalk in the middle of traffic, the driver must always stop.

At a red light, drivers must stop before the actual crosswalk. After a complete stop, drivers may turn right on red if there are no pedestrians crossing. If pedestrians are crossing, drivers must wait for them to cross before making a right on red. Drivers should follow the same guidelines when turning left at a red light onto a one-way street.

It is against the law to jaywalk in Virginia. If there is no crosswalk present the pedestrian must go to the corner and cross corner-to-corner.

For more concise detail, The Final Report prepared for the Virginia Department of Transportation is an accounting of the pedestrian laws and regulations that exist within the Virginia Code. Pedestrian Codes are Title 46.2.

Pedestrian Safety Tips

  • Wear reflective and/or brightly-colored clothing to increase your visibility.
  • Obey all signs and signals.
  • Look left-to-right before crossing a street.
  • Pay attention don’t be a distracted walker! Don’t text and talk on your phone, especially if you are walking with a small child.
  • Walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible if there are no sidewalks.
  • Never assume that a driver will slow down or stop for you. Look at the driver and try to make eye contact before you enter the road.

Request a Free Pedestrian Accident Consultation

If you or a loved one have been injured in an in an accident caused by the negligence of another person, please call Kalfus & Nachman PC today to schedule a consultation with a Norfolk personal injury attorney. Our office can be reached at (855) 880-8163 or via our online contact form.

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