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Pedestrian accidents on the rise in Louisiana and elsewhere

In addition to its supreme culinary fare, New Orleans is famous for its local festivals, parades and other cultural fun. It's a town where a typical panoramic view would likely include many pedestrians milling about sidewalks and crossing streets on their ways to various venues. It doesn't really matter what time of day or night it is, for Louisiana social life in this town never seems to end.

If you plan on strolling through one or more parishes in the near future, you'll want to be especially cautious when crossing a road as the number of pedestrian accidents nationwide has reportedly increased in recent years. In fact, if foot travel is a common form of transportation for you, you've probably already been in situations where you've witnessed cars screeching to a halt and honking horns in near misses with people crossing the street.

Know the laws in the states where you are walking

Did you know that traffic regulations regarding pedestrians vary by state? Although many states have similar laws, it's always best to make sure you have a clear understanding of pedestrian/motorist regulations of the state you're in if you plan to hit the pavement in areas where there's traffic. Following is a short list of facts regarding pedestrian laws:

  • In many states, laws differ between controlled and uncontrolled crosswalks. Controlled areas are those where installed devices, such as stop signs or traffic lights, regulate traffic and pedestrian movement.
  • At least nine states require motorists to come to a complete stop when approaching uncontrolled crosswalks where pedestrians are present.
  • Most states implement yield-only laws in uncontrolled pedestrian crossings.
  • New Jersey's pedestrian laws coincide with marked and unmarked crosswalks as opposed to controlled and uncontrolled. (Most controlled crosswalks are marked as crossing areas, but uncontrolled crossings may or may not have signs labeling them as crosswalks.

There's no uniform standard throughout the nation for traffic regulations regarding pedestrians. In fact, in Louisiana, drivers need only yield a right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks when those crossing a road are on the same half of roadway as the motorist (whether the driver is traveling straight or turning into the area). In this state, pedestrians must yield if crossing a street outside a marked zone or unmarked area at an intersection. While you might do everything you can to stay safe, negligent drivers place everyone at risk.

Sadly, pedestrians in New Orleans and other Louisiana regions may be seriously (or fatally) injured if there are distracted, intoxicated or otherwise reckless drivers in the vicinity of the crossroads. If a motorist injures you while you're traveling on foot, you may feel a great need to reach out for support. Those who survive such incidents often find it helpful to connect with experienced personal injury attorneys who can provide many services to assist them in recovery, including but not limited to seeking monetary compensation for damages.

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