In January, a Richmond, Indiana woman who was crossing a busy intersection was hit by a truck and then run over. The driver continued on from the scene and when located later stated that he was unaware that he had struck anyone. The woman was in critical condition when she was brought to a nearby hospital, but a week after the accident she had been upgraded to serious condition.
This accident highlights the dangers pedestrians face around large vehicles, such as tractor trailers. It also demonstrates an important consideration in the responsibilities of driver’s license holders, and the penalties they can face for not meeting them.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Many pedestrians are injured or killed each year in the US. For the last year with full reported data (2012) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 76,000 pedestrian injuries and more than 4,700 pedestrian deaths. That’s a fatality every two hours and an injury every seven minutes.
Vehicle drivers deserve a lot of the blame: they are, after all, operating large, heavy machines which can do a great deal of damage when they strike someone. But pedestrians share responsibility. Pedestrian accidents happen at all times and in many locations, but the statistics show that most of them take place in urban areas, away from intersections, and at night. Pedestrians need to be careful all the time, but especially so after dark and they should remember to use crosswalks and signals as much as possible. In the Richmond case, the accident happened during the day and at an intersection.
The CDC cites data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealing that nearly half of all vehicle-pedestrian crashes involve alcohol. Nearly one-third of pedestrians and 14% of drivers in these cases had blood alcohol concentrations above the legal limit.
Understanding “Implied Consent”
When the truck driver in this incident was located, he claimed to not be aware that his vehicle had struck anyone. The police requested the driver submit to a chemical impairment test, a standard practice when an accident involves injury or death. The driver refused, and was cited for a violation of implied consent.
“Implied consent” may not be a concept you’re familiar with, but it’s very important. In every US state, when a person is issued a driver’s license that person agrees to comply with certain requests from law enforcement officers, especially requests to be tested for alcohol use. The penalty for refusing the test can be serious. If a driver is stopped on suspicion of operating while intoxicated and refuses a chemical test, their license can be automatically suspended for one year.
Indianapolis Truck Accident Attorneys
If you need help in the aftermath of an accident involving a truck, get in touch with Wilson Kehoe Winingham. We understand truck accident law and might be able to help. We offer a free consultation to all new clients, so there is no risk to you. Pick up the phone and call us at 317-920-6400, or contact us online to have someone from our office call you.