Situtations That Can Lead To Pedestrian Accidents in DC

Due to the high volume of traffic and the high volume of people walking around within Washington, DC, there are a wide variety of scenarios which could result in a pedestrian accident. Below are details on some of the various ways these accidents occur and who is responsible.

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident of any kind call a DC pedestrian accident lawyer today to discuss your case and begin filing a claim.

Scenario 1: Backing Up Cars

Pedestrian accidents involving cars backing up can occur in D.C. due to the high volume of street parking and the volume of pedestrians in and around the D.C. area. In D.C., there are a number of neighborhoods and pockets of densely-populated areas with a lot of restaurants and condominiums that have a lot of street parking. When you have street parking in addition to a lot of people moving in and around the sidewalks, it gives the opportunity for someone trying to back into a parking spot to have an accident with a pedestrian.

Scenario 2: Cars Exiting Parking Lots

When you have cars exiting a parking lot, it is just like any other intersection. In this situation, a pedestrian may be passing directly in front of a vehicle which is exiting a parking lot. The driver of the vehicle and the pedestrian may be unsure who has the right of way, one can understand how that scenario may present some confusion and cause either the driver or the pedestrian to mistakenly believe they have the right-of-way. That assumption may cause the other to move into the intersection when it is not safe to do so, which would cause the accident.

Scenario 3: Pedestrian Accidents On Streets With No Sidewalks

The D.C. municipal regulations prescribe the manner in which pedestrians are to travel along the street when there is no sidewalk. Sidewalks are very common here in the District of Columbia, but if a pedestrian is on a street with no sidewalk and there is a motor vehicle operator occupying that same street, it may present a scenario where both persons are confused as to who has the right-of-way.

This confusion may be the seed that causes one or the other to act in a way that is not safe, which would cause the accident.

Scenario 4: Cars Running Red Lights

Pedestrian accidents where a driver is turning on red, again, presents a scenario where pedestrians and drivers may not fully understand their responsibilities. That situation is a little bit unique because when a pedestrian is crossing the street in a crosswalk with a walk signal the pedestrian is lawfully crossing the street. At the same time, you have the driver of the motor vehicle who is attempting to make a lawful, right turn on red.

In that situation, the frequency of accidents is unclear, but it is clear to see how pedestrian accidents can occur when two people believe that they have the right of way to pass through the intersection.

Unless the driver and the pedestrian are able to communicate with each other, and one yields to the other, it is likely that there will be a collision.

Scenario 5: Cars Turning Left Across An Intersection

Like a vehicle turning right, when turning left the operator of the motor vehicle may believe he/she is doing so lawfully while the pedestrian has also entered the intersection in the crosswalk lawfully.

Again it is hard to speak to the frequency of these particular types of collisions, but one can certainly appreciate that both of them believe they have the right-of-way. If they do not communicate with each other in such a way, that lets one of them know who is yielding, it certainly creates a situation where a pedestrian accident can occur.

Scenario 6: Accidents in Parking Lots

Pedestrian accidents in parking lots can be fairly common because the pedestrian does not have a safe position such as a sidewalk or crosswalk to separate them from traffic. In a parking lot, a pedestrian is forced to maneuver among the cars. If the operator of the motor vehicle is not able to see them, for whatever reason, there is an opportunity for a collision to occur.

Luckily, people should not be driving very fast in a parking lot, and so the hope is that if the operator of the motor vehicle sees a pedestrian, they are able to avoid the collision.

Scenario 7: Bus Stops and Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents at bus stops are tricky to evaluate. You have a bus stop, which by definition is a space where a number of pedestrians are allowed to collect and wait for the bus, and is also typically along a busy road. A pedestrian accident, meaning a vehicle which is passing by and collides with a pedestrian, may understandably occur because a bus stop can be a crowded place.

Coupled with the crowdedness, someone may not be paying attention and could step into traffic, resulting in a collision between a pedestrian and a motor vehicle.

Scenario 8: Pedestrian Accidents At Stop Signs

Pedestrian accidents at stop signs are also fairly tricky to evaluate. If a pedestrian comes upon a crosswalk at an intersection controlled by a stop sign, the pedestrian may stop and the vehicle traveling on the roadway may stop as well, in observance of the stop sign. Unfortunately, unless the pedestrian and the driver are able to make eye contact with each other and reach some nonverbal understanding as to who is going to go through the intersection first, you have a situation where an accident may occur.