Debunking Myths About Alaska Pedestrian Accidents


To start, some statistics should disprove any misconceptions about the frequency and dangers of pedestrian accidents. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 6,000 people on foot are killed in traffic collisions every year, making pedestrians 1.5 times more likely to die in traffic-related crashes than vehicle occupants. Plus, another 137,000 individuals head to US emergency rooms annually for treatment of pedestrian accident injuries. These incidents tend to disproportionately affect children and the elderly. Adults aged 65 years and older represent one in five deaths and 10% of victims injured. Approximately 20% of all children under 15 years old who were killed in traffic collisions were walking at the time.


Still, there is a considerable amount of misinformation about crashes involving people on foot, and an Anchorage, AK pedestrian accidents lawyer can clarify the confusion. Additional details may also help debunk some of the myths.


Myth 1: Traffic Regulations Do Not Apply to People on Foot: To the contrary, anyone sharing Alaska’s roadways is obligated to follow state traffic laws, including pedestrians and bicycle riders. You are required to comply with signals when crossing the street; even when “Walk” or “Don’t Walk” signs are not present at an intersection, you must use the red-green lights to gauge when it is safe and legal to enter the street. Jaywalking is a traffic violation under certain circumstances, and it is against the law to walk on the shoulder of most roads when a sidewalk is installed.


Myth 2: Pedestrian Accidents Do Not Fall Under Alaska Auto Crash Laws: This is another misconception, since your legal rights as an injured victim are based upon the same negligence principles that apply to car accidents. In fact, your first step in the legal process will be filing a claim with the at-fault motorist’s auto insurance company. Just like other vehicle crash cases, you need to prove that you were hurt because the driver failed to exercise reasonable care behind the wheel.


Myth 3: The Driver of a Motorized Vehicle is Always at Fault: This is an important misconception to debunk because of the impact on your rights. It is definitely possible for the actions of the person on foot to be a cause or contributing factor in an Alaska pedestrian accident. CDC figures reveal that the individual walking had a blood alcohol concentration in excess of the legal limit in around 33% of all fatal collisions. Another extreme risk factor is distracted walking, often through cell phone use or listening to music. These circumstances may trigger Alaska’s rule on contributory negligence, which may lead to reduction of your compensation.


Myth 4: You Do Not Need an Alaska Pedestrian Accidents Attorney for Assistance: While not legally required, retaining legal representation gives you an edge when pursuing the at-fault motorist for compensation. Dealing with an insurance company can be challenging, and things only get more complex if you need to file a lawsuit in court.

To learn how we can help with the legal process, please contact Power & Power Law in Anchorage, Alaska. We can schedule a no-cost case review to analyze your circumstances and tell you what to expect.