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Share the road with pedestrians safely this summer

Now that summer is in full swing in Connecticut, people may have noticed there are more pedestrians on the road. Children are on summer break and may be riding their bikes or walking to a friend's house or to a playground. People may be taking advantage of the pleasant weather to take a walk or go jogging. And sometimes its simply easier to go somewhere on foot, rather than having to deal with congested traffic.

However, this means that motorists must be extra-vigilant to ensure they do not cause a pedestrian accident. For example, motorists should avoid driving above the posted speed limit. A pedestrian who is struck by a vehicle travelling 40 mph has an 85% chance of dying due to the crash. Pedestrians struck by vehicles travelling 20 mph only face a 5% chance of dying due to the crash. Motorists should also avoid impaired driving or distracted driving, as these actions take a person's mind off the task of driving, making them unaware of pedestrians in their surroundings. Motorists should also come to a complete stop at intersections, so pedestrians can safely cross the road.

Despite these safety tips, there will still be motorists who fail to uphold their duty of care and will strike a pedestrian. Motorists have a legal duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances. Aggressive driving, impaired driving or distracted driving all breach this duty of care. If that breach causes another person to suffer damages, the at-fault motorist may be liable under the laws of negligence, and the harmed party may have grounds for a lawsuit.

Of course, this post does not offer legal advice to readers. Pedestrians who are struck by a car and wish to file a lawsuit may want to do their research to determine if they have the grounds for a legal claim, and if so, how they wish to proceed.

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