Texas Tractor-Trailer Collision Shows Risks to Pedestrian Safety

 

Truck Driver Hits Young Woman in Crosswalk

22 year-old Kung Jin Oh was critically injured when a tractor-trailer hit her Wednesday night in Lynchburg.The pedestrian was crossing the road when the front end of the Freightliner truck struck her.

The victim is a South Korean exchange student who is currently attending Liberty University. She remains in critical condition. Police are still investigating the pedestrian accident, but the woman appears to have been in the designated crosswalk when the accident occurred.

Texas Pedestrians at High Risk of Fatal Accidents

Pedestrian accidents represent approximately 14 percent of all traffic deaths in
the country, despite making up only about one percent of all miles
travelled by people generally.

A pedestrian safety study
performed by the A&M Texas Transportation Institute and funded by
the Texas Department of Transportation found that in the examined area
23 percent of pedestrian accidents occurred in crosswalks and at
intersections, whereas 42 percent happened in locations other than
crosswalks and intersections. In addition, about 67 percent of
pedestrian fatalities occurred when the pedestrian was not crossing at a designated crosswalk or intersection.

However, a pedestrian
in a crosswalk is still vulnerable, especially if the driver is not
paying attention or speeding or if the pedestrian steps out in front of
an approaching vehicle. Investigators have not yet determined whether
the truck driver was at fault in Wednesday evening’s accident or whether Oh contributed to her own injuries. But the accident highlights the
need for drivers, pedestrians and lawmakers to play their part in
preventing these types of unnecessary accidents.

Texas Traffic Laws Governing Pedestrians and Crosswalks

Transportation Code of Texas apply the following regulations to pedestrian crosswalks:

  • Pedestrians have the right-of-way in crosswalks with no signals
  • Pedestrians may not step in front of an automobile that is already so close that the driver cannot stop in time
  • Drivers have the right-of-way in locations other than marked or unmarked crosswalks and intersections
  • If traffic signals control adjacent intersections, pedestrians are permitted only to cross at the marked crosswalk
  • Drivers pulling out of or into alleyways, building entrances or private
    driveways must yield right-of-way to crossing pedestrians

The study also concluded that effective crosswalk designs should include
elements that increase motorists’ visibility, control of speed in the
crosswalk vicinity and easier access to pedestrians to promote use.

Were You Hit By a Commercial Truck Driver?

Because of their size and wight, commercial vehicles often inflict more serious injuries, particularly upon pedestrians, who have no protection. In
most cases, a pedestrian in a crosswalk has the right-of-way. However,
you may still have a valid claim against the truck driver and the driver’s employer even if you did not have the right-of-way.

To learn about your rights to recovery, schedule a free consultation with
Texas Board Certified personal injury attorney Bill Berenson. Our firm
handles cases involving tractor-trailers and truck collisions in Texas and other states. Please call us at
817-885-8000 or toll-free at 1-888-801-8585 or send us an email.

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