Pedestrians have comprised 23 percent of traffic fatalities in Hawaii over the last two decades. A recent Car Insurance Comparison study found that Hawaii ranked sixth in the nation for its high number of pedestrian accident deaths, with 2.54 deaths per every 100,000 people. That’s 34 percent higher than the national average. For such a small state, these are alarming statistics.
Even though all motorists should exercise caution around people on foot, you can’t count on drivers to follow the law. Being aware of Hawaii’s pedestrian laws and following basic safety tips can help you protect yourself while walking on or near the road in Waipahu.
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Pedestrian Laws in Hawaii
Here’s a rundown of basic pedestrian laws in the Aloha State:
- Pedestrians must use sidewalks if they have the option.
- Pedestrians should walk on the left side of the roadway in the direction of oncoming traffic if there is no sidewalk.
- Pedestrians cannot cross at a designated crosswalk or non-designated crossing if approaching traffic is close enough to place the pedestrian in immediate danger.
- Pedestrians may not enter a marked or unmarked crosswalk if traffic signage prohibits them.
- Pedestrians should walk on the right side of crosswalks if possible.
- If pedestrians intend to cross a road anywhere other than at a designated crosswalk, they must yield the right-of-way to drivers.
Drivers are also required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing at designated crosswalks if the pedestrian is on or approaching the driver’s side of the roadway. Additional information about Hawaii pedestrian safety laws is available on this Department of Transportation FAQ.
9 Safety Tips for Pedestrians in Waipahu
Unfortunately, many motorists fail to notice pedestrians until it is too late to avoid a collision. Driver negligence can take many forms, including distracted driving, intoxicated driving, fatigued driving, speeding, and other careless behaviors. That’s why pedestrians should take steps to protect themselves while walking near roadways, especially where there is heavy traffic.
Follow these safety tips to protect yourself from negligent motorists:
- Avoid texting, listening to music, watching videos, and doing other activities on your cell phone or other electronic devices while walking near a road.
- Always look both ways before crossing an intersection, even if you have the right-of-way. You could easily step into the street without noticing an oncoming vehicle.
- Make yourself visible when walking near a roadway, especially after dark or early in the morning. Motorists often fail to notice pedestrians in broad daylight, so they are certainly less likely to see you in low visibility conditions.
- If you must walk after dark, consider wearing reflective clothing such as a reflective vest, and do your best to walk in well-lit areas to minimize the chances of being hit by a vehicle.
- Never assume that a driver can see you. Wait to establish eye contact and confirm they see you before crossing.
- Always use sidewalks when they are available.
- If you are walking in an area that is not pedestrian-friendly, walk on the left side of the roadway in the opposite direction of traffic. Stay as far left as possible to avoid being grazed by a motor vehicle.
- Never attempt to cross a road unless you are permitted to by traffic signals. If you are crossing at an intersection, wait for the “walk” signal before crossing to the other side of the road.
- Never assume that drivers will slow down or stop for you, even if you are legally crossing a street or intersection.
Talk to a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Waipahu Today
Pedestrian accidents result in some of the most life-changing injuries. If you or a loved one was hurt in a pedestrian accident in Waipahu, compensation may be possible to cover your medical expenses, lost income, rehabilitation, and more.
Getting started is easy. Just reach out to Recovery Law Center today. You’ll speak with an experienced Waipahu pedestrian accident lawyer who will explain your rights and legal options in a free consultation. Call or contact us now.