This article is the last of three articles dealing with common pedestrian injuries and their implications. The previous article discussed injuries sustained by pedestrians while using a crosswalk, walking outside a crosswalk, and walking on the side of a street.
For this last article, we will be discussing the topics of imminent peril, street workers, intoxicated pedestrians, and handicapped pedestrians.
A pedestrian may invoke the imminent peril doctrine to excuse his lack of judgment in an accident. Usually, a pedestrian is expected to take a prudent course of action. However, a person’s judgment may be clouded by panic or surprise, especially in an accident. Negligence may result from a person’s inability to think clearly in making a split-second decision. By invoking the imminent peril doctrine, the pedestrian claims that his actions were influenced by panic and should be excusable.
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The law does not require streetworkers to be constantly vigilant for oncoming vehicles. The driver has the duty to avoid street workers. A driver cannot claim as a defense the fact that the street worker wasn’t looking for oncoming vehicles when the accident occurred.
Contributory negligence cannot be imposed upon a child under the age of 5 as they are considered incapable of negligence. For example, contributory negligence cannot be used as a defense, even if the child ran into a street without looking.
Minors aged five years or older are only expected to exercise a level of care expected of a child their age.
A pedestrian’s intoxication will not excuse their negligence. The fact that a pedestrian is intoxicated does not relieve a pedestrian’s duty to exercise reasonable care.
On the other hand, a finding that the pedestrian was intoxicated during the accident does not mean that the pedestrian is automatically negligent. For intoxication to be an issue, it must be of quantity and character to affect a person’s judgment.
A pedestrian uses a conveyance like a skateboard, roller skates, or scooter. This is according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Hence, a disabled person who uses a wheelchair for transportation or rides a tricycle or quadricycle is regarded as a pedestrian.
The law considers a handicapped pedestrian’s disability, but it still requires care on the pedestrian. For example, a hard-of-hearing pedestrian must be more vigilant in looking out for oncoming vehicles.