Craig P. Tiller, Esq. PLLC

Protecting Virginia pedestrians requires education and awareness

We have all been in scary situations as pedestrians. Maybe you stepped out into a street in Lynchburg as a car was speeding by. Or perhaps you were crossing and driver making a left turn didn't notice you right away, making you jump to the side to avoid getting hit. No matter what the exact situation, staring down an oncoming car as a pedestrian is a frightening experience.

In the scenarios we just provided, everyone survives. That, unfortunately, is not always the way it works. Every year in Virginia, several pedestrians die from being hit by cars. So what can we do to make the roads safer? 

According to the police chief of Danville, both drivers and pedestrians need to constantly be on the lookout. Because jaywalking is not a crime in Virginia, pedestrians can legally walk outside of crosswalks. However, to protect themselves, it is important that they be very cautious and look both ways.

Drivers must be vigilant as well. In areas where the speed limit is less than 35 miles per hour, driver are required by law to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. When drivers are speeding or not paying attention, however, serious and even fatal accidents can happen.

When a pedestrian is hit by a car, it often results in serious injuries if not worse. Last year, three people in Danville were killed in pedestrian accidents.

Losing a loved one to a pedestrian accident is a devastating experience that no one should have to go through. Those who are forced to endure such a tragedy, however, should know that wrongful death laws exist to protect your family and obtain justice for your loved one. A negligent driver can be held accountable for taking a life.

Source: News & Advance, "To reduce pedestrian deaths, 'awareness and education'," Allison M. Roberts, Aug. 4, 2013