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Car accidents: Pedestrians and motorists must both take care

Pedestrians in Ontario will always be vulnerable, especially when they have to cross busy roads. The responsibility to protect lives is on the shoulders of both pedestrians and vehicle operators. If both groups comply with the applicable laws, auto vs. pedestrian car accidents might be avoided.

Since Jan. 1, 2016, motorists and cyclists have to stop at pedestrian crossings where there are crossing guards and yield the entire roadway. To make sure the pedestrians and the crossing guard are safe, they may only proceed once the pedestrians and guard/s reach the opposite sidewalk. This also applies to school crossings and other crossovers where crossing guards are present. Drivers are urged to keep a lookout for children and take particular care when they navigate school zones, residential areas and other areas where children are likely to be walking or playing.

Pedestrians must make a point of crossing only where marked crosswalks are available, and at traffic lights. Crossing halfway down the block, or between cars that are parked can cause serious accidents. The best strategy is to make eye contact with a driver at a crosswalk before proceeding, and it helps to wear clothing that will increase visibility.

Many auto vs. pedestrian car accidents in Ontario lead to personal injury or even wrongful death claims. In some circumstances, recovery may still be possible even if the injured pedestrian was partially at fault. It makes sense to consult with an experienced Ontario personal injury lawyer who can assess the circumstances, gather the appropriate evidence and make plans for moving forward with legal action.

Source: mto.gov.on.ca, "Road safety: pedestrians", Accessed on March 30, 2018

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