One week ago, a Delaware County man was critically injured after being struck by a car as he walked alongside North State Road in Springfield. The accident occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m. According to an online news report*, the car hit the young man, and then failed to stop. The driver is being sought, and the family of the pedestrian has offered a reward for information.
Pedestrians who walk alongside roads where there are no sidewalks face many dangers, especially at night. Pedestrian-car accidents cause significant injuries to pedestrians. Head injuries, internal injuries and broken bones are very common.
Drivers on a road without sidewalks should expect that pedestrians will be present on the side or shoulder of the road. Therefore, hitting a pedestrian who is lawfully on the road may subject a driver to liability.
Section 3544 of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code provides that pedestrians have a right to be present on a road when there is no sidewalk or shoulder.
That statute provides:
Pedestrians walking along or on highway.
(a) Mandatory use of available sidewalk.–Where a sidewalk is provided and its use is practicable, it is unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.
(b) Absence of sidewalk.–Where a sidewalk is not available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk only on a shoulder as far as practicable from the edge of the roadway.
(c) Absence of sidewalk and shoulder.–Where neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk as near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway and, if on a two-way roadway, shall walk only on the left side of the roadway.
(d) Right-of-way to vehicles.–Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, any pedestrian upon a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
Despite the fact that Section 3544 gives the right of way to drivers on the roadway, such drivers must still be on the lookout for pedestrians on the road. Hitting a pedestrian who is lawfully on the road may amount to negligence and liability in court.
Related Legal Article: Pennsylvania Pedestrian Accident Legal Article: Pedestrian Laws
For more information contact our Pennsylvania car and pedestrian accident lawyers at 215.925.4451.
Published: July 12, 2012
*Source: philly.com, Family to driver who injured pedestrian: ‘Come forward’, July 6, 2012