During the holiday months, pedestrians are at increased risk of getting hit by cars in Delaware. This holiday season, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) implemented a pedestrian safety and outreach initiative designed to educate pedestrians about safety issues and also enforce Delaware’s pedestrian safety laws by issuing citations to pedestrians who violate the laws. The program began in November and will conclude in December.
Participating agencies include:
- Dover Police,
- Milford Police,
- Newark Police,
- Smyrna Police,
- Wilmington Police, and
- Delaware State Police.
Top Factors Contributing to Pedestrian Accidents in Delaware During Holiday Months
It’s important for pedestrians to be extra cautious during the holiday season for a number of reasons. Below are three factors pedestrians in Delaware should keep in mind to avoid getting hit by a car or truck this holiday season.
1. Poor Visibility at Night
Pedestrian activity at night is especially dangerous. During the months of November and December, the sun sets earlier in the day. Visibility is one of the main factors in nighttime pedestrian traffic accidents.
When walking at night, pedestrians should be sure to wear reflective clothing and also carry a blinking light or flashlight.
2. Crossing Outside of a Crosswalk
Crossing outside of a crosswalk is a major factor in pedestrian accidents. Delaware requires pedestrians who walk outside of a designated or marked crosswalk to yield the right of way to vehicles in the road.
Always cross at marked crosswalks. If that is not possible, pedestrians should exercise extreme caution when crossing the street, especially at night.
3. Driver & Pedestrian Distractions
These days, everyone seems to be distracted by smart phones, drivers and pedestrians like. Even though it is illegal to talk, text or otherwise use a smart phone when driving in Delaware, many drivers continue to do so. Pedestrians are also walking and crossing the street while looking down at a smart phone. While not illegal, this is very dangerous.
Alcohol & Drugs – Another Factor Contributing to Pedestrian Accidents
It is important to note that alcohol or drugs can result in a pedestrian accident, and the at-fault party may be either the driver or the pedestrian. A driver who has had too much to drink can strike a pedestrian walking alongside the road. Likewise, a pedestrian who has had too much to drink at a party and decides to walk home may cause an accident. The pedestrian may fall into the roadway or may otherwise attempt to cross the road, fail to notice oncoming traffic and get hit by a car.
Legal Rights for Pedestrian Accidents in Delaware
Pedestrians who are hit by cars often have legal rights to financial compensation. Claims may be made for PIP benefits (medical bills and lost wages). In Delaware, an injured pedestrian may make a PIP claim under the car insurance policy covering the striking vehicle.
In addition, at-fault drivers may be held civilly liable and ordered to pay for pain and suffering damages, as well as medical bills/lost wages which exceed PIP.
Delaware Auto Accident Law Firm – Offices in Wilmington, Newark & Dover (302) 658-1717
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