One of the most overlooked types of accidents happens between pedestrians and bicyclists. People have a hard time believing that pedestrians or bicyclists can cause accidents, but they also share a road with drivers; everyone on public roads has a responsibility to be attentive. Any party could be negligent, it all depends on who is at fault in the event of an accident. To avoid an accident while you are on foot or riding your bike, it’s wise to be aware of Utah’s pedestrian and bicyclist laws.
A pedestrian is defined as someone who is walking on foot or using a wheelchair. Utah’s pedestrian laws state that pedestrians must abide by traffic signs and signals that apply to people who are walking. Do not abruptly enter the path of a vehicle. Jaywalking is when you cross at any other point besides the marked crosswalks—this is illegal. When following crosswalk signals, you must wait for the “walk” or walking person symbol to flash to cross the street. Do not walk when the stop hand signal is flashing, unless it starts to flash while you are already crossing the street. If this happens, you have the right of way and you must continue crossing. Yield to all emergency vehicles that are using their sirens. If there are sidewalks available, you must stay on the sidewalks when walking. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the shoulder as far away from the roadway as possible. In the absence of a road shoulder, walk to the far left. Make sure that you are facing traffic as you walk.
Bicycles are considered a type of vehicle under the law. As such, bicyclists must obey the same traffic signals as cars. If you plan on riding your bicycle half an hour before sunrise or half an hour after sunset, be aware that these are hours of less visibility. You must make yourself appear identifiable to both cars and pedestrians by wearing either a white headlight, a red taillight, or side reflectors that are visible from 500 feet away. If you are operating a bicycle, you cannot abruptly stop or suddenly decrease speed without first giving an appropriate signal to the bicyclists behind you. The bicycle safety laws spell out a specific hand and arm signals that are to be enforced when you are changing directions or speed. Give a signal at least two seconds prior to changing your movement. Always keep at least one hand on your handlebars.
Accidents Between Pedestrians and Bicyclists
In the event of an accident between a pedestrian and a cyclist, if there is severe bodily damage or significant property damage, call 911 and request the police or an ambulance. The police and your insurance company will determine who failed to execute their duty of care. A duty of care is a legal obligation that is imposed on an individual to adhere to a set of standards when performing a risky activity. For example, if a bike rider is not using at least one hand on their handlebars and they crash into a pedestrian, the bicyclist is at fault. They will be responsible for the damages because this is negligence. The police will file an accident report. Both parties should exchange personal information. If a few months pass and you haven’t heard about the incident anymore, don’t get too confident. These types of accidents can resurface a few months or even years later, so don’t be caught off-guard if an attorney reaches out to you.
If you are a resident of Utah who was recently involved in a collision, contact our injury lawyers at Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton today for your free consultation. Our experts will advocate for you to receive the satisfactory resolution you deserve.