To prevent accidents between vehicles and pedestrians, people on foot should exercise extra caution when walking or crossing the road. Drivers can prevent hitting a pedestrian by operating their vehicle with due care. A moment of distraction on the part of either the driver or the pedestrian can mean the difference between safety and a fatal accident.
Unfortunately, recently a 62-year-old man was killed after he was struck by a 1999 Ford Expedition in suburban West Palm Beach. Preliminary investigation revealed the pedestrian was running north across the Okeechobee Boulevard and Meridian Road intersection when he ran in front of the SUV heading west on Okeechobee. The driver attempted to steer away from the pedestrian but could not avoid hitting him. The pedestrian, who police believed to have either alcohol or drugs in his system, was pronounced dead at the scene.
This pedestrian accident demonstrates how a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian can result in serious or fatal injuries. Drivers have the responsibility to carefully operate their vehicle under the given circumstances. They are held to the standard of what a reasonable, prudent person would do under the same circumstances. Drivers must be extra vigilant and take control of their vehicle when they know there’s a pedestrian nearby or might be nearby, and should take steps to avoid colliding with the pedestrian.
Similarly, pedestrians have a duty for their own safety and for the safety of others on the road. If the pedestrian acts in a manner that makes it impossible for a reasonable, cautious driver to avoid hitting the pedestrian, then the fault for the collision lies with the pedestrian.
In Florida, where comparative negligence is used in determining liability, it’s not uncommon for the pedestrian and the driver involved in a pedestrian accident to share liability, because both parties acted negligently when the accident occurred.