Pedestrians are Arizona’s most vulnerable road users. They have the most to lose in traffic accidents. In 2019, the Arizona Department of Transportation reported 1,842 pedestrian collisions throughout the state. Pedestrian accidents in Arizona caused 1,697 injuries (including 356 serious injuries) and 220 deaths. If you are someone who often runs, walks or jogs in Arizona, make safety a top priority. Be proactive about preventing an accident with a few tips.
How to Avoid an Accident
Pedestrians often have the power to prevent collisions with motor vehicles. While these accidents are often the fault of a negligent driver and can be unexpected, a pedestrian who keeps a proper lookout may be able to spot the signs of negligence. If you notice a driver speeding, weaving between lanes, or looking down at his or her lap, for example, waiting to cross the road could save your life.
- Pay attention. It is extremely dangerous to walk or run while distracted. Do not look at your phone or listen to headphones as a pedestrian in Arizona. Stay alert to your surroundings and the traffic around you.
- Stay visible. Wear bright clothes, such as yellows and reds, to help increase your visibility to drivers. Consider using a flashlight and/or reflective vest if you have to walk or jog at night.
- Use sidewalks. You should never walk or jog along the side of the road when a sidewalk, pedestrian path or pedestrian tunnel is available. Using the shoulder of a road can increase your risk of a driver hitting you.
- Face oncoming traffic. As a pedestrian, it is safest to walk in a direction that is opposing the flow of traffic. That may allow you to see an oncoming vehicle and move out of the way before a collision.
- Obey roadway rules and pedestrian laws. Decrease your risk of a collision by knowing and obeying your right-of-way. Only cross at a marked intersection, for example, when the signal gives you the indication to proceed.
You may also be at risk of becoming the victim of criminal activity as a walker, jogger or runner in Arizona. This is another reason to remain alert and pay attention to your surroundings. Exercise with a friend to improve your safety. Only take well-lit, populated roads and avoid walking at night. Change up your route frequently. Call the police immediately if you suspect criminal activity while on a walk or jog.
Who’s at Fault in an Accident With a Runner?
When a collision between a motor vehicle and a runner does occur, Arizona’s tort-based law will guide the insurance claims process. This law states that the party responsible for causing the collision will also be responsible for paying the related bills. As an injured pedestrian, you or your Glendale personal injury attorney will need to identify the party at fault for your accident before you can file a claim.
The at-fault party could be a negligent or reckless driver for crashing into you when you had the right-of-way. The city could also be liable if the sidewalk or crosswalk had a defect that contributed to your accident, such as an inherently dangerous design. If the defendant tries to allege your comparative fault for the accident, hire an attorney to help you prove otherwise. Combatting a comparative negligence defense could help you maximize your financial recovery for an injury or loved one’s wrongful death.
What to Do After the Accident
Take certain steps to obtain evidence, determine fault and file a valid personal injury claim after a pedestrian accident in Arizona. First, call 911 to report the accident from the scene of the crash. Explain your side of what happened when the police arrive but do not admit fault. Make sure the driver that hit you remains at the scene as well. Obtain his or her insurance information, contact number and full name. Request medical care for your injuries immediately. Take photographs and videos while at the scene. Do what you can to document the accident. Then, contact a pedestrian accident lawyer near you for a free consultation about how to build a claim to damages against the correct defendant(s).