Recently the question was posed:
While driving in my neighborhood, I struck a pedestrian who was walking. I was driving the speed limit. Can I still be responsible for her injuries?
The answer is yes. Even if the driver of a vehicle is driving at or below the posted speed limit, that is not a defense if the driver could have avoided striking a walker, runner or bicyclist.
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1180(a) states as follows:
No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable
and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and
potential hazards then existing.
Although the posted speed limit in a neighborhood may be 30 mph, often there are people running and biking, kids playing and families walking. These are actual and potential hazards and require motorists to drive less than the posted speed limit.
It is also important to note that the driver of every vehicle should drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest and when driving on any narrow or winding roadway. These are all conditions that require drivers to drive slowly and more cautiously.
The bottom line is that cars driving through neighborhoods should slow down. It’s not worth the few extra seconds saved to put pedestrians in the neighborhood at risk of serious injury.
At LaMarche Safranko Law we advocate for safe driving. It’s especially important in residential neighborhoods to be mindful of the fact that there are many people who are sharing the road.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a speeding driver give us a call to find out if we can help you with your legal claim.