Why Pedestrians Get Blamed

An 11-year-old Huntsville, Arkansas boy was recently hit and killed by a car while he was crossing the street, according to Arkansas Online. According to the initial report, the boy was walking along the side of the road and then crossed in front of an oncoming vehicle that hit him. Some initial reports place the blame on the pedestrian, although the reason for the crash is still under investigation.

Fighting Police Bias and Lack of Personal Account in Police Report of What Happened

Why are pedestrians so commonly blamed for causing their own injuries or deaths when drivers are the ones that are operating the deadly vehicle? When a car hits a pedestrian, the police report is often skewed in favor of the driver, because usually the driver is the only party left at the scene when law enforcement takes statements. The pedestrian, by that point, has generally been taken to the hospital. These one-sided stories appear in countless police reports as:

  • The pedestrian was jaywalking;
  • The pedestrian “jumped” into the road in front of the oncoming vehicle;
  • The pedestrian ran across the street against the walk signal;
  • The pedestrian was looking down at their phone when they crossed the crosswalk;
  • It was too dark to see the pedestrian, and they were wearing dark clothing; or
  • The pedestrian came out of nowhere.

Other factors that contribute to pedestrians being held liable for a collision include:

  • Police bias against pedestrians. Most police spend their time in cars driving, and not much time walking as a pedestrian;
  • Cultural and infrastructure bias against pedestrians. Walking is seen as something that goes against American car culture. Those who choose to walk, even for short distances, are looked down upon. This is also seen in the lack of safe infrastructure that pedestrians are given, and laws that penalize those who cross anywhere other than a marked crosswalk.

More often than not, drivers cause pedestrian collisions, and not the other way around. While pedestrians do sometimes violate the law by jaywalking, or even walking while intoxicated, the pedestrian still should not be held accountable. If an intoxicated pedestrian crossed at an intersection that did not have a crosswalk and was struck, but the driver was going 25 miles per hour over the speed limit, the driver should be held liable for damages. Factors that lead to pedestrian injuries and deaths include driver distraction, driver intoxication, and excessive speed (a pedestrian hit at 10 miles per hour has a 10 percent chance of dying, while a pedestrian hit at 40 miles per hour has an 80 percent chance of dying, according to NPR).

Call a Jonesboro Lawyer Today

An experienced Jonesboro attorney can help you get justice through financial compensation if you have been wrongly accused of causing your own injury as a pedestrian, or a loved one lost their life and the driver has blamed them for causing the incident. Call the Jonesboro pedestrian accident attorneys of Wells & Wells today at 870.782.4084.

http://www.npr.org/2017/03/30/522085503/2016-saw-a-record-increase-in-pedestrian-deaths

http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2017/oct/16/11-year-old-boy-struck-and-killed-while-crossing-a/

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