Motor Vehicle

Walk This Way – Pedestrians and Car Accidents

Pedestrians are by far the largest group of road users in the world. In Australia, they unfortunately make up approximately 14% of the annual Australian road toll, and account for roughly 175 to 200 fatalities every year.

Who is a Pedestrian?

The Queensland Road Rules define a pedestrian as anyone who is on foot, pushing a bicycle, and those travelling on a wheeled device such as a skateboard, wheelchair or other motorised mobility device.1

Main causes of death and injury

The leading causes of pedestrian death and injury in car accidents are:

  • Speeding vehicles causing an accident.
  • Alcohol – over 1/3 of injured pedestrians were affected by alcohol at the time of the accident.
  • Technology – pedestrians injured on roads are commonly distracted by their phones, or other electronic devices.
  • Inadequate visibility at night.

Rules for Pedestrians

The Queensland Road Rules list a number of rules that pedestrians must abide by to stay safe and reduce the occurrence of car crashes or other accidents.

  • Pedestrians must not travel past “no pedestrian” signs.1
  • When crossing a road, pedestrians must cross by the shortest safe route; and must not stay on the road longer than necessary to cross the road safely.1 Importantly, this includes road shoulders.
  • Pedestrians must not cause a traffic hazard by moving into the path of a driver or unreasonably obstruct the path of any driver or another pedestrian. However, a pedestrian does not obstruct another pedestrian simply by moving more slowly than another.
  • Pedestrians are not allowed on roads to solicit employment or business from occupants or vehicles; hitchhike, display advertisements, sell things, wash or clean windscreens. Drivers are similarly not allowed to buy or accept services from pedestrians on the road.1
  • Pedestrians must not travel on roads if there is a footpath or nature strip adjacent to the road, unless it is impractical to travel on said path or strip.1
  • If travelling on roads, pedestrians must keep as far to the side as possible and face approaching traffic that is moving in the direction opposite to the pedestrian unless impractical to do so.1

Pedestrian Rights

In some circumstances, pedestrians have right of way of our roads. If a pedestrian is crossing the road into which a motorist’s vehicle is turning, the driver of the vehicle must keep a proper look out and give way to pedestrians if there is a risk of collision. Importantly, pedestrians have right of way in these circumstances even if there is no designated pedestrian crossing.

Personal Injury Claims

1 Transport Operations (Road Use Management – Road Rules) Regulation 2009
2 Ibid R 228.
3 Ibid R 230.
4 Ibid R 236.
5 Ibid R 238.
6 Ibid.

At Claimwise our mission is to help you save money on your legal fees. By starting your CTP claim with a traditional ‘No Win, No Fee’ law firm your total legal fees can end up being $10,000 or more higher than by using us.

If you or someone you know have been injured on the road in Queensland and want to keep your legal costs down, feel free to get in touch with us.

Be smart, claim wise.

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