On December 5, 2017, a young man was struck by a car as he tried to cross I-35, later dying in a Round Rock hospital. Originally thought to be in his 20s, the young man turned out to be only 15 years old. While obviously the young man’s passing is a tragedy, it highlights the danger to pedestrians when they attempt to cross busy streets, and the potential consequences for both they and the drivers involved in such accidents.
The Dangers of I-35
While obviously, any road can be dangerous, I-35 has a reputation for being exceedingly hazardous, for a multitude of reasons. It has consistently been voted one of the most congested highways in the state, and ranks in the top 10 or 20 in many lists of the busiest roads nationwide. The more traffic on a highway, as one might imagine, the higher the amount of accidents generally, and usually a higher number of casualties will result. This can often be doubly true for the occurrence of accidents involving pedestrians and smaller vehicles like motorcycles – neither has anywhere near as much protection as a car or truck driver does from injury during an accident.
Pedestrian safety in particular has been a problem on I-35, especially in and around Austin. The “Be Safe Be Seen” campaign was announced earlier in 2017 in response to as many as one in five pedestrian accidents occurring primarily on I-35, with a focus on central areas in Austin. While the accident in which the teen lost his life occurred in the 13100 block of I-35, which is a somewhat less congested area, the point remains that both pedestrians and drivers could likely do to be somewhat more vigilant in crossing such crowded streets.
If You Are Involved
If you are involved in such an accident on I-35, either as a pedestrian or a driver, you will likely be looking at significant time and trouble, assuming you are not killed outright. I-35 manages so much traffic that there are multiple reasons why an accident might occur, and it is imperative to have a good grasp of the facts of your accident so you understand what is and is not actionable. Many believe that the pedestrian is always at fault or always responsible for their own injuries because it is generally illegal to cross a freeway on foot, but this is not always the case.
It is important to keep in mind that everyone involved in an accident has a duty of care that they may have breached by their conduct. The Texas Transportation Code actually illustrates a pedestrian’s duty of care with regard to motorists, which is somewhat unusual – in many other states, a pedestrian’s duty is implicit, which means that whether or not it is something the pedestrian is aware of, they are required by law to exercise due care. If they fail to observe the duty of care, it may mean they are more than 51 percent at fault, which under Texas law means they are unable to recover.
Let Our Auto Accident Lawyers Help You
While the accident in the 13100 block appears to have been nothing more than a tragic accident, sometimes it is possible to hold someone liable for injuries sustained in such a crash. The passionate New Braunfels pedestrian accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm are happy to try and help you if you have been injured. Contact our office today to set up an appointment.