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Obeying Crosswalks & Traffic Signs Could Save Your Life

In West Virginia, motorists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks. Pedestrians crossing the street outside of crosswalks must yield the right-of-way to vehicles. Jaywalking is illegal in many cases, costing you a $100 to $500 fine. However, the stakes are much higher than a monetary fine. Using a crosswalk when walking or riding your bike might save your life.

Between 2000 and 2009, 237 pedestrians were killed in West Virginia. Forty percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred where no crosswalk was available. Only 10% of those fatalities occurred within a crosswalk. Men and women over the age of 65 are more likely to be struck by a vehicle - in fact, 45 older West Virginia pedestrians were killed between 2000 and 2007. Children under 15 are also at greater risk - 35 kids were killed as pedestrians between 2000 and 2007. One problem is that some urban and arterial roads are poorly designed, remaining unequipped to handle pedestrians.

West Virginia law requires all motorists to act with "due care" to avoid colliding with pedestrians. Obviously, cars, trucks and motorcycles have the opportunity to do much more damage than a pedestrian. If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, contact a vehicle accident lawyer in West Virginia.

Despite the motorist's responsibility to avoid collisions, pedestrians still need to be observant of traffic laws to protect themselves. Do not try to save a few seconds and a few steps by not walking down to the nearest crosswalk. Always obey crosswalks, traffic signs and the general flow of traffic. You never know when a driver might not be able to slow down in time. Speak with a West Virginia pedestrian accident attorney to learn more.

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