Updated January 13, 2023 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff
In January of 2016, a Richmond, Indiana woman was hit and run over by a semi-truck while crossing a busy intersection. The driver left the scene of the accident and, when located, stated that he was unaware that he had struck anyone. The woman was in critical condition when she was brought to a nearby hospital, and a week after the accident, her condition was updated to serious.
This accident highlights the dangers pedestrians face around large trucks, including semis, tractor-trailers, and big rigs. It also demonstrates an important consideration in the responsibilities of driver’s license holders and the penalties drivers can face for not meeting them.
Many pedestrians are injured or killed each year in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there were roughly 104,000 pedestrian injuries and 7,000 pedestrian deaths in 2020. In other words, there is pedestrian 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 statistics show that most of them take place in urban areas, away from intersections, and at night. Pedestrians need to be careful at all times, but especially so after dark. They should also remember to use crosswalks and walk signals as much as possible. In the Richmond case, the accident happened during the day and at an intersection.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that nearly half (46%) of all vehicle-pedestrian crashes involved alcohol in 2019. Almost one-third (32%) of pedestrians and one-tenth (13%) of drivers in these cases had blood alcohol concentrations above the legal limit.
When the truck driver in this incident was located, he claimed to be unaware 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.
When a person is issued a driver’s license in the United States, they agree 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.
If you need help in the aftermath of an accident involving a truck, contact the Indianapolis Truck Accident Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW understand truck accident law and can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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