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When crossing at an intersection, crossing within a crosswalk, or crossing a roadway without a crosswalk, pedestrians should follow three simple guidelines:

PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

Pedestrians must realize that not all drivers know the rules of the road. They should be aware of their surroundings at all times.

PAY ATTENTION TO TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.

§4511.12(A) of the Ohio Revised Code provides, “[n]o pedestrian . . . shall disobey the instructions of any traffic control device placed in accordance with this chapter.” A traffic control device refers to a sign or signal. Pedestrians should be on the lookout for these devices and be familiar with their meanings.

KNOW THE RULES.

As children, we are often taught the difference between the WALK and DON’T WALK signals, or conversely, the difference between the walking person and upturned palm symbols. Simply stated, if WALK or a steady walking person is displayed, a pedestrian may start to cross in the direction the signal indicates. When such a signal or symbol is displayed, a pedestrian has the right-of-way. It should be noted, though, that, “[a] pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within an intersection at the time that the walking person signal indication is first shown.” O.R.C. §4511.14(A).

If DON’T WALK or a flashing upturned palm is displayed, a pedestrian may not start to cross in the direction the signal indicates. If a pedestrian starts to cross on a steady walking person symbol, and a DON’T WALK or a flashing upturned palm is displayed as the pedestrian is in the middle of crossing the roadway, they may continue to the far side of the road, unless a traffic control signal directs the pedestrian to a median or other area. If a steady upturned palm is displayed, a pedestrian shall not enter the roadway in the direction the signal indicates.

In addition to this basic rule, Ohio law provides answers to these additional questions:

Q: Who has the right-of-way when no traffic control signal is in place?

A: Pedestrians. O.R.C. §4511.46(A) provides:

When traffic control signals are not in place . . . the driver of a vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar shall yield the right of way . . . to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger. (Emphasis added.)

The above rule should also be followed in situations where traffic control signals are not in operation or are not clearly assigning the right-of-way.

Q: Who has the right-of-way when there is no crosswalk?

A: Drivers. O.R.C. §4511.48(A) provides, “[e]very pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles, trackless trolleys, or streetcars upon the roadway.” (Emphasis added.)

Q: Should pedestrians move on the right or left half of a crosswalk?

A: Right. O.R.C. §4511.49(A) provides, “[p]edestrians shall move, whenever practicable, on the right half of crosswalks.” (Emphasis added.)

For more information on pedestrian laws, please see this article from the Ohio Department of Transportation and applicable sections of the Ohio Revised Code which can be found online here. Looking for a Cleveland personal injury attorney who will work for you? Contact the attorneys at NRS by calling 855.GOT.HURT (855.468.4878) or filling out our contact form.

A hit and run accident can have devastating consequences not only to the victim, but to the members of the victim's family. Recently, a 5th grade teacher from Shaker Heights was killed by a hit and run driver while he was out jogging around 5:30 pm on January 24, 2015. The driver had been stopped by the police for a traffic violation and when the police approached the vehicle the driver fled the scene. The car was found abandoned down the road from the scene of the accident and the driver had disappeared. The family was left with a great loss and many unanswered questions.

One way to protect yourself and your family, in case you are involved in a hit and run accident, is to have a substantial amount of uninsured motorist coverage in your automobile insurance policy. The uninsured motorist provision will help to pay medical bills,  pay you for your loss of earnings, and compensate you for pain, suffering and emotional distress if you are involved in a hit and run accident.

If you are involved in a hit and run accident here are a few things you should do:

  1. Attempt to get the license plate number, including the make and color of the vehicle.
  2. Notify the police as soon as possible. Many insurance policies require that the police be notified within 24 hours.
  3. Contact your insurance carrier as soon as possible to make a claim. Many insurance policies require that you make a claim within 30 days.
  4. Do not attempt to make any repairs whatsoever to the damage of your vehicle prior to allowing your insurance company to inspect the vehicle.
  5. Obtain the names and addresses of anyone who may have witnessed the accident.

The most important thing is to make sure that you have substantial uninsured motorist limits so that you and your family are adequately protected. If you need assistance or have any questions please contact a Cleveland auto accident attorney at NRS by filling out our contact form, or call toll free 1-800-GOT-HURT.

A parking lot isn’t the first place that comes to mind when thinking about distracted driving and traffic accidents. Yet, it may surprise you to learn that according to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 20 percent of vehicle accidents and more than half of back-over injuries take place in parking lots. Further, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that one of ten property crimes occur in a parking lot or garage. So, what can you do to protect yourself and other drivers and pedestrians?

Consider these five tips for keeping you, your property and others safe when parking your car or walking through a parking area:

  1. Never park at the end of an aisle. Why? Your vehicle becomes much more vulnerable to contact from turning vehicles. You also put yourself at greater risk when entering and departing from your car.
  2. Back out slowly from your parking space. This may seem like a no-brainer, but let’s face it—we’re all in a hurry to get to the next place. Backing up can be very dangerous. Adjust your mirrors and be aware of blind spots. When walking in a parking garage, be on alert for other drivers backing up suddenly or those distracted by cell phones.
  3. Park defensively. Avoid crowding vehicles next to you. The National Safety Council recommends backing up into your space—it not only makes for an easier exit but increases the likelihood that drivers will pay closer attention when exiting.  However, backing up carries certain responsibilities, as described in the next tip.
  4. Take precautions when backing out of a parking space. According to the National Safety Council, one of four vehicle accidents is caused by backing out moves. Further, backing accidents cause 500 deaths and 15,000 injuries per year. It’s recommended that you search for hidden hazards like potholes or other tire obstructions.  Look for any possible children in the area.
  5. Increase security measures. The IIAA reports that 80 percent of crimes committed at shopping facilities happen in parking lots. Avoid the potential for carjacking, theft and vandalism by parking in well-lit areas. Have your keys ready as you scan the area for threats. LOCK DOORS at all times and stay off your phone.

For more tips on parking lot safety, see the full Safe Parking Guide at parkwhiz.com. The distracted driving threats described in the first blog in this series, The Rising Cost of Distracted Driving: Facts and Stats apply to driving in parking lots. By following these tips, and others found in Car Parking Safety Tips, you can decrease the chances of becoming the victim of a car accident or crime.

At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., we understand the devastating effects of being injured in an auto accident in Cleveland caused by a distracted driver. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll provide more information about distracted driving and driving safety. Topics will include pedestrian safety as well as keeping kids and teen drivers safe.

Please read Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics to learn more about what distracted driving is and the devastating impact it can have on others. You can also visit our distracted driving and texting accident page on our website.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, speak to an auto accident lawyer at NRS right away. Our distracted driving accident attorneys have the experience you need to get the results you deserve and are entitled to by law. Call us toll-free at 1.855.GOT.HURT (1.855.468.4878) or contact us by filling out our No-Risk Consultation Form.

So far in our series of blogs on distracted driving, we’ve taken a look at the rising cost of distracted driving, the increased costs of cycling accidents, the cost of distracted driving on the workplace and how to prevent accidents in parking lots. In this week’s blog, we take a look at distracted driving and pedestrian safety.

Why pedestrian safety? Consider these facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

According to the Pew Research Center, more than half of all adult cellphone users have been on the giving or receiving end of a distracted walking encounter. When you combine distracted driving with distracted walking, it’s no wonder that the number of accidents has sharply increased.

Young adults (in particular those ages 18-24) are especially prone to experience these “distracted walking” encounters. Teenagers are now at the greatest risk for being killed or injured in traffic accidents as pedestrians. They have a death rate twice that of younger children and account for half of all child pedestrian deaths. Following are safety tips specifically for teens:

Teens aren’t along when it comes to distracted walking accidents. According to statistics from Loyola University Health System, senior citizens make up 13 percent of the population, but account for 23 percent of all pedestrian fatalities. Following are pedestrian safety tips specifically for older adults.

Tips that all pedestrians are wise to follow include:

At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., we understand the devastating effects of being injured in an auto accident in Cleveland caused by a distracted driver. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll provide more information about distracted driving and driving safety. Topics will include other ways to keep kids and teens safe and what to do following a car accident.

Please read Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics to learn more about what distracted driving is and the devastating impact it can have on others. You can also visit our distracted driving and texting accident page on our website.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, speak to an auto accident lawyer at NRS right away. Our distracted driving accident attorneys have the experience you need to get the results you deserve and are entitled to by law. Call us toll-free at 1.855.GOT.HURT (1.855.468.4878) or contact us by filling out our No-Risk Consultation Form.

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