Turn signals are designed to promote the safety of other motorists and to reduce traffic accidents from occurring. Drivers who make sudden turns or change lanes without using a turn signal may cause an incident resulting in serious bodily injury or death. Learning more about the proper use of turn signals can help you become a more responsible driver.
The Moments All Drivers in Texas Should Use Their Turn Signals
Turn signals should be used as often as possible whenever any driver changes lanes or makes a turn. Texas Transportation Code §545.104 contains several provisions regarding the required use of turn signals in Texas. The following are specific times when drivers should use turn signals:
- A driver makes a turn to enter a parking space
- A driver enters or exits a freeway
- Switching lanes
- Making a turn at an intersection
Turn signals are not a fail-safe mechanism for preventing accidents. Although they can reduce the chances of an automobile accident happening, it is still necessary for drivers to be alert, responsive, and attentive while driving at all times. Effective and safe driving practices can reduce the number of pedestrian accidents and save lives.
The Rights of Pedestrians Possess at Intersections in Texas
Pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks in Texas. However, Texas Transportation Code §552.003 states that when the walk signal is not illuminated, the pedestrians do not have the right of way. Pedestrian accidents often occur at busy intersections and congested crosswalks. Turn signals can help pedestrians avoid suffering serious bodily injury or death.
Responsible Drivers in Texas Can Keep Pedestrians Safe
Texas traffic laws are designed to promote public safety and to help drivers avoid injuring pedestrians. Texas Transportation Code §552.008 states that drivers should use due care to prevent collisions with pedestrians on Texas roadways. Drivers need to use turn signals and other devices to avoid causing serious bodily injury to pedestrians. For example, the vehicle’s horn can be used in certain circumstances to provide a warning to others of an imminent issue.
Safety Recommendations for Pedestrians in Texas
Pedestrians should always be attentive to motorists and when they use turn signals. The following safety recommendations should be followed by pedestrians in Texas:
- Pedestrians should remain aware of other vehicles while crossing intersections and entering any roadway.
- Local ordinances can assist pedestrians with understanding the scope of their rights.
- Pedestrians should wear reflective clothing while walking after sunset.
- Distractions – such as mobile phones and headphones – can prevent pedestrians from being aware of their surroundings.
- Pedestrians should use crosswalks and sidewalks whenever possible to avoid walking near automobiles.
- If a “Do Not Walk” sign is illuminated at an intersection or crosswalk, pedestrians should not cross a roadway until the “Walk” signal becomes visible.
Pedestrians have a responsibility to be aware of their rights under Texas law. Drivers who use turn signals can help pedestrians have a clearer understanding of what they should do to ensure their own safety while walking near roadways.
Failure to Use a Turn Signal Is an Inherently Dangerous Act
Failure to use a turn signal is not an innocent activity. All drivers in Texas should focus on using turn signals as a regular aspect of their driving behavior. Drivers in busy Texas cities such as Houston and El Paso may put many lives at risk by failing to use their turn signals.
Some drivers may assert that they only need to use their turn signals when they are on freeways. Yet this is an extremely short-sighted misconception due to the risks that arise when drivers change lanes without using turn signals. Pedestrians often cannot survive a collision with an automobile due to the extreme force at play during pedestrian accidents.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Texas
Pedestrian accidents often arise due to the negligent conduct of drivers. Sometimes, pedestrians themselves may cause a pedestrian accident, yet this is a less common phenomenon. More often, the negligent actions of others cause these incidents, including:
- Failure to yield to pedestrians
- Failure to use turn signals
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Ignoring traffic signals
- Distracted driving
- Driving at an excessive rate of speed
Turn signals are necessary to protect motorists and pedestrians. The Texas legislature has enacted laws that promote the safety of all citizens by making texting and driving an illegal activity.
Pedestrian Accidents and Liability Insurance Policies
Pedestrian accidents are typically included under most liability insurance policies in Texas. A pedestrian may suffer serious bodily injury or death during an accident, and a pedestrian may seek monetary compensation for their injuries by filing a civil lawsuit against the party responsible for causing their injuries. Surviving family members may bring a wrongful death lawsuit if the pedestrian died as the result of a pedestrian accident.
Typical Injuries Suffered by Pedestrians in Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents affect both adults and children. The following are some of the most common injuries suffered by victims during pedestrian accidents:
- Herniated disc injuries
- Muscle injuries
- Fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
All victims involved in pedestrian accidents need to seek immediate medical care for their injuries. Sometimes, an accident victim may not realize they suffered serious bodily injury until weeks or months after the date of the accident. Seeking medical treatment for your injuries is the first step toward creating a record of your injuries, which you can use to substantiate your legal claims.
Stand Up for Your Legal Rights After Being Injured in a Texas Pedestrian Accident
Failure to use turn signals endangers the lives of pedestrians in Texas. If you or a loved one suffered injuries during a pedestrian accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Farah Law. We have experience helping pedestrians seek financial compensation for their injuries. Pedestrian accidents are often complex, and retaining a personal injury lawyer can help you protect your legal rights.