Sharing the Roadways
We are now anticipating the sporadic weather in Delaware to stop, with nicer weather on the horizon. Waiting for the nice enough day to ride your bike to class on campus, or if you’re in Sussex County, biking or walking around Rehoboth, Dewey, or Lewes. However, biking, running, or walking in these areas is not always safe. Delaware is not unfamiliar to a pedestrian hit and run in Newark or by the beaches in Sussex County. In heavily populated areas with consistent amount of traffic, pedestrian must be tentative and aware at all times.
Pedestrian accidents can result in remarkably dangerous injuries. When you are a pedestrian, there is absolutely nothing protecting you upon impact. If a motorist strikes you and flees the scene, it could take hours before you’re able to be helped. Especially in cases when you are alone taking an evening walk after dinner or a bike ride to watch the sunset.
As a pedestrian or cyclist, you must also obey the laws of the roadway, unless directed by a police officer or a uniformed crossing guard to do otherwise. By law in Delaware, motorists must give at least four feet of space between their vehicle and a pedestrian or cyclist. However, when a pedestrian or cyclist is within a crosswalk, drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing a street when in a crosswalk. Drivers must either slow down or stop to allow a pedestrian to cross the street. Delaware law makes it illegal to overtake or pass other cars which are stopped at a crosswalk.
Out of 408 pedestrian accidents in Delaware in 2010, 22 resulted in fatalities. In 2009, there were 277 pedestrian accidents, 14 of which resulted in fatalities. In 2015, the number of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes was 36, up from 27 in 2014. For every pedestrian killed, there were 8 severely injured. There were 3 bicyclists killed in traffic crashes in 2015. There were also three bicycle fatalities in 2014. However, in 2015 there were 127 bicyclists injured in traffic accidents, an increase since 2014.
With the spring and summer season upon us, drivers must be aware and alert in areas heavily populated with pedestrians. The number of pedestrian or cyclist are trending upward. Drivers must keep in mind that they are sharing the road, especially in areas such as Dewey Beach, Rehoboth Beach, Trolley Square and Newark. If you are struck by a driver and left to suffer from injuries due to his or her negligence, hire an attorney to fight for your compensation.