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Three duties that drivers have towards pedestrians

With the volume of vehicular traffic that we experience in the St. Louis metro area, it is common for many of our posts to focus on car accidents. When you take into account the number of distracted drivers, aggressive drivers and drunk drivers on the road at peak times, it is no wonder that we have so many crashes.

Also, pedestrian traffic, especially in downtown St. Louis during sporting events, can raise the potential for car-pedestrian accidents. As such, this post will highlight a few of the things that prudent drivers must do as part of their duty to use reasonable care while behind the wheel. 

Yield the right of way to pedestrians - Drivers must slow down and stop to let a pedestrian cross, even if they are outside of a marked crosswalk. Simply put, if a driver has a reasonable opportunity to slow down in order to avoid hitting a pedestrian, the driver has a duty to do so.

Put down your cell phone - Distracted driving is still a serious problem despite the many PSAs (public service announcements) bemoaning this practice. Distracted drivers are less likely to see a pedestrian when they are checking text messages or social media updates.  

In fact, in Illinois it is illegal to talk on your cell phone without hands-free technology.  Cell phone use is completely prohibited in school zones, construction zones and for novice drivers.  Illinois also has an anti-texting law which prohibits the use of an electronic device to "compose, read or send" an electronic message while driving. See 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2.  Missouri's laws regarding cell phone use and texting while driving are less strict.  In Missouri, texting while driving is only prohibited for drivers under the age of 21.  

Don't drink and drive - Obviously you get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol; but it is still surprising how many drivers who think they are okay to drive even though they believe they are only "buzzed" or "tipsy."

If you are a pedestrian who has been involved in an accident with a car, an experienced personal injury attorney can help. 

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