pedestrian crossingAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, while fatalities decreased for most groups of road users in 2016, there was an increase in fatalities in accidents involving pedestrians.

Washington Statutes Protecting Pedestrians

Several Washington statutes are specifically aimed at protecting pedestrians near roadways. RCW 46.61.110(2) provides:

The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian or bicycle that is on the roadway or on the right-hand shoulder or bicycle lane of the roadway shall pass to the left at a safe distance to clearly avoid coming into contact with the pedestrian or bicyclist, and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken pedestrian or bicyclist.

RCW 46.61.235(1) provides:

 The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway within an unmarked or marked crosswalk when the pedestrian or bicycle is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning.

RCW 46.61.245(1) requires all drivers to exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian, including sounding the horn, and to exercise proper precaution on seeing any “child or any obviously confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway.”

Injuries From Pedestrian Accidents Can Be Severe

Pedestrian accidents often involve serious injuries or death. They and can result in substantial wage loss, permanent disability and impairment of earning capacity, severe pain and suffering, and a permanent loss of enjoyment of life.