MNPD: Drivers Should Be More Careful, Pedestrians Should Use Crosswalks
With areas of the city like Five Points, The Gulch, Midtown, 12 South, and Broadway having high concentrations of pedestrians—not to mention large numbers of pedestrians walking to and from work and school throughout the city—Metro Nashville Police say that both drivers and pedestrians themselves need to be more careful to help prevent accidents.
Per a report by WKRN.com, 12 people have lost their lives while crossing Nashville streets in 2016 so far. None of them were using crosswalks when they were struck by vehicles. Officials with the MNPD say that the number of pedestrian deaths and injuries could increase in the coming months when it begins to get dark earlier in the evening and visibility decreases as drivers make their way home from work.
To make pedestrians safer, the MNPD urges all drivers to be more careful and aware of the presence of pedestrians, and for pedestrians to never cross the road unless they’re at a crosswalk.
18 pedestrians died due to being struck by vehicles in 2015, with 14 of those accidents involving alcohol and drug impairment, while 13 involved pedestrians walking in the roadway outside of a crosswalk.
Important State Laws All Tennessee Pedestrians Should Know
Most drivers are familiar with Tennessee’s traffic laws—especially those that cover everyday situations and scenarios. But many people are unaware of the state laws that cover pedestrians. Violating pedestrian laws can not only put you at risk of receiving a citation, but it can also significantly increase your risk of being involved in an accident.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville pedestrian accident attorneys say that all Tennessee residents should be familiar with these laws:
- Crosswalks don’t give pedestrians freedom to enter the roadway at any time.
Per TCA 55-8-134, pedestrians should not suddenly leave a curb or sidewalk and enter a roadway, even if they’re at a crosswalk, if doing so makes it difficult or impossible for oncoming drivers to yield.
- Pedestrians should not cross streets between adjacent intersections with crosswalks.
Per TCA 55-8-135, when there are crosswalks nearby, including at intersections, pedestrians should always use those crosswalks to get across the street. If there are no crosswalks nearby, pedestrians can cross the street, but should always do so carefully and while giving the right-of-way to approaching vehicles.
- Pedestrians should always walk facing traffic when no sidewalks are available.
Per TCA 55-8-138, pedestrians should always walk on the left side of the street and facing the flow of traffic when no sidewalks are provided or they are obstructed.
- Traffic signals and traffic lights apply to pedestrians.
Per TCA 55-8-111 and TCA 55-8-133, pedestrians are subject to obeying traffic signals and lights at intersections. That means pedestrians should never enter roadways or crosswalks when a crossing signal has a “wait” or “don’t walk” icon. However, pedestrians who are already in the process of walking through the intersection can continue if the signal changes.
It’s important for pedestrians to remember that there are many laws governing the use of public roadways in the state of Tennessee, and those laws aren’t limited to motorists, motorcyclists, and bicyclists. Pedestrians are also subject to Tennessee roadway laws and should always walk carefully and stick to crosswalks and sidewalks when they’re available. When conditions are dangerous, such as at night, during bad weather, and during times of low visibility, pedestrians should stay home or seek alternate methods of transportation.
If you or someone you know was injured in a pedestrian accident that you believe is the fault of a negligent driver, our legal team wants to speak with you. We have two decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured victims and helping them recover compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages, and more. To find out how our Nashville pedestrian accident attorneys can build a strong claim on your behalf, just dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form.