According to the Billings Police Department, in a 6-month period last year, nearly 30 accidents involving pedestrians and cars were reported. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics indicate that one pedestrian is killed every couple of hours and one is injured every eight minutes in traffic accidents. In general, pedestrians are at a disadvantage in a car-pedestrian accident.

Even though many pedestrians in Billings, MT indicated feeling fairly safe while crossing the streets in downtown, some expressed concern with distracted drivers. Currently, even though MT does not have statewide laws which prohibit the use of cell phone while driving, many municipalities, including Billings, prohibit the use of handheld phones and texting.

Some Billings, MT residents indicated that one cannot presume that a motorist is attentive and it is judicious to exercise caution while crossing. In fact, one individual felt that a people seem to run through red lights often. Despite countdown timers, painted crosswalks and other tools, collisions involving pedestrians and motorists happen. Pedestrians are likely to suffer serious injuries or death in such accidents.

In general, both motorists and pedestrians have an on-going duty to exercise care while driving, and crossing the road, respectively. For motorists, this means obeying all traffic laws and not using their handheld devices in municipalities which have enacted ordinances prohibiting their use. Similarly, pedestrians must cross at designated crosswalks, be attentive, and for their own safety, walk within the countdown timer.

Despite all the intervention to prevent injuries to pedestrians, and laws on the books, a car accident involving a pedestrian can still happen. For anyone injured by a driver, it may be helpful to contact a personal injury lawyer to have the facts of one’s case evaluated, and to discuss legal options.

Source: KULR8, “Pedestrian vs. Vehicle Accidents,” Katharine MacKnight, August 14, 2013