Pedestrian Accidents: Totally a Driver’s Fault?

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that, in 2012, traffic crashes took the lives of 4,743 pedestrians and injured about 76,000 (some injuries led to death a few days after the accident); this means that every two hours a pedestrian is killed, while every seven minutes, one gets injured.

Data from past years also showed that most pedestrian accidents happened in cities and during the night, that most of the victims were male, that half of the total number of accidents occurred on weekends, between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m., and that 37% of those killed, as well as 13% of the drivers of automobiles that hit the pedestrian, were drunk with a 0.08% blood alcohol content level.

Whenever a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, fault is typically blamed on the driver, who is usually judged as not having any courtesy towards non-motorists. While it is bad enough that some drivers deliberately choose not to yield to pedestrians, joggers and cyclists, others make it worse by making the whole thing like a game, seeing just how close they can get to these people even to the point of almost hitting them.

But, is fault blamable only on a driver? What about pedestrians who are too engrossed in using their cell phone that they never even bother to check the road before crossing it, or those who are too into jogging that he or she would cross the street without even looking first for possible approaching vehicles?

So many accidents happen because of negligence, which is failure to act with reasonable care, causing injury or harm to others as a result. Often, however, proving liability as to whose fault the accident really is can be a legally challenging, but a necessary, task.

Open Container Facts

Wisconsin does not tolerate open containers in vehicles on public highways. While the law is clear, questions that arise can regard the purpose of the law, where open containers are illegal, and fines for having an open container. The website of Kohler Hart Powell, SC says that a criminal defense attorney could possibly provide assistance to those who are fighting against open container consequences. Having qualified lawyer in this instance therefore can be really helpful.

These laws are in place to uphold the quality of neighborhoods, protect residents, and for the state to receive federal subsidies for transportation construction. Prohibiting open containers limits public intoxication, and distraction in or unsafe operation of the vehicle. This keeps streets peaceful, and protects people in the car. Lastly, states that have open container laws receive federal government subsidiaries for the construction of highways. Those that don’t have laws do not receive financial alleviation in the construction of public highways.

Although factors differ from state to state, an open container is typically in violation of the law if present on streets, mobile homes, residential neighborhoods, parking lots, or in the car on public highways. However, it is okay to have sealed alcohol in the car as long as it is stored in the trunk, or part of the car where passengers are not. The fine for having an open container in the car can be applied to the driver or passenger; the fine for the driver is $212, and the passenger’s fine is $150.

Tickets can result from having an open container in the car. In Wisconsin, drivers can be asked to take a chemical test to determine BAC. If greater than .08, a person can receive an OUI, and an automatic driving suspension can ensue. Open containers may not seem threatening, however they can lead to undesirable consequences.

Helmet Laws in the United States

The United States basically follows two types of helmet laws: the universal motorcycle helmet law and the partial helmet law. The Universal Helmet Law demands motorcycle operators and passengers of all ages to wear motorcycle helmets every time they are riding, while the Partial Helmet Law would only require certain groups of people (particularly of a certain age) to wear helmets. Despite that safety and protection that helmets provide, one 19 states (and the District of Columbia) follow the Universal Helmet Law, while 28 states have Partial Helmet Law and 3 have no helmet laws.

Because of the severity that motorcycle accidents cause, preventing such crashes has become a leading and growing public concern. Since the 2000, there has been an increase of 55 percent in motorcycle-related deaths, and according to research on states, repealing the helmet laws in the state increases the instances of injuries and death caused by motorcycle accidents. Even states that follow partial helmet laws tend to suffer from the economical effects of motorcycle accidents. Cost savings brought about by comprehensive laws on helmet safety have been nearly four times greater for the states that have them.

Wearing a helmet while operating or riding a motorcycle have been known to prevent 37 percent of deaths and 67 percent effective in averting brain injuries after motorcycle accidents. Any experienced car accident lawyer will tell you that brain injuries are expensive and will have long-term effect on the quality of life of a person, and sadly many motorcycle accidents are biased in biased light. It can be difficult to determine the outcome of a personal injury claim after a motorcycle accident, which is why claimants need to have proper documentation and strong evidence in order to gain a positive outcome for the case. Aside from other necessary road safety tips, wearing a helmet that is approved by the DOT for quality and safety will save life if not prevent serious injuries.