Readers may not know it, but in most situations where they may encounter other people they owe strangers a general duty of care to act reasonably given their circumstances and surroundings. For Washington drivers, that can mean paying attention to the roads and using proper driving techniques to avoid collisions and injuries with the other cars and pedestrians that may be near them. A driver's duty to others can be breached if they allow negligence and distraction to creep into their vehicle operating habits.
When a driver fails to obey traffic laws or chooses to let distractions take their focus off of the road, they become a danger to everyone that they encounter. Their negligence can take on many forms, and this post will examine just how negligence may serve as a breach of a driver's duty to pedestrians with whom they must share the roads.
Drivers who speed, run stop signs and traffic lights, and who do not respect pedestrians' right of way in crosswalks are negligent. When they undertake such damaging driving behaviors they may not have enough time to stop when they encounter walkers, joggers, and others in their paths. Drivers who use cell phones and who text while operating their vehicles are equally as dangerous to pedestrians since they may never see a pedestrian before colliding with them and causing them grievous injuries.
Negligence happens when a driver fails to exercise reasonable care while behind the wheel of their car. It is often the basis of personal injury claims based on pedestrian-vehicle crashes. Consultation with an attorney can be a good first step for a victim who wants to learn more about their rights to compensation for losses sustained in a pedestrian accident.