Joggers are pedestrians, and in Massachusetts pedestrians almost always have the right of way and cars and trucks have a duty to yield the right of way to the pedestrian. Pedestrian joggers are among the most vulnerable people using the roads and sidewalks in and around Massachusetts.
Runners bear the brunt of the impact in pedestrian accidents involving car and trucks. Unfortunately, in most cases injured joggers usually sustain significant and catastrophic injuries that require extensive medical treatment resulting in significant medical expenses. Often times these injured runners sustain life-altering physical impairments that limit their ability to perform their job duties. This can result in a significant loss of income and earning capacity.
Non-economic losses involving pain and suffering, mental anguish, and an inability to engage in once favorite hobbies or activities not only diminishes the quality of the injured pedestrian’s life, it also impacts the lives’ of family members and loved ones that once shared in those activities.
A jogger, whether he sees a car approaching or not, has a right to expect that drivers will exercise some degree of care for his or her safety. There is no law in Massachusetts requiring a jogger, when lawfully using the road, to be continuously looking or listening to determine if cars or trucks are approaching.
One of the things that draws people to running is the idea of getting in the zone. When you’re in the flow or in the zone the task at hand feels effortless. In order to get in the zone one needs to activate the subconscious mind and let it take control. To do this the conscious mind first needs to shut off in order for the subconscious mind can takeover. The conscious mind is always thinking about what you are doing. When the conscious mind shuts down and the subconscious takes over there is no more thinking. There is only doing without thinking.
When a jogger gets in the zone they are not as conscious of their surroundings and are therefore less attentive to cars and traffic. Therefore, most joggers rely on drivers to operate their vehicles in a reasonable manner in order to avoid pedestrian accidents. Unfortunately, drivers get distracted themselves and that is when pedestrian accidents involving joggers occur.
Massachusetts Driving Laws that Protect Pedestrians
The following is a list of a few of the traffic laws that put the burden on drivers to drive their vehicles in a reasonable manner in order to avoid pedestrian accidents:
- The pedestrian has the right of way in a crosswalk—M.G.L. c. 89, § 11
- Vehicle operators shall not enter a crosswalk unless crossing can be completed—720 CMR 9.06(6)(b)
- Vehicle operators shall not pass a vehicle stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk—M.G.L. c. 89, § 1, 350 CMR 4.01(8)
- Vehicle Operator must yield to pedestrian at crosswalk—720 CMR 9.06(27)
- Vehicle Operator shall not operate at speeds greater than reasonable or proper M.G.L. c. 90, § 17
- Vehicle Operator shall stay within marked lanes –720 CMR 9.06(1)
- Vehicle Operator not to drive on sidewalks—720 CMR 9.06(19), M.G.L. c. 89, § 1
- Upon approaching a pedestrian who walking on the street and not upon a sidewalk, every person operating a motor vehicle shall slow down—M.G.L. c. 90, § 14—
- Failing to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian—720 CMR 9.06(28) &350 CMR 4.01(8)
- G.L. c. 89, § 4B—prohibits driving in breakdown lane,
- 730 CMR 7.08(9)0— prohibits the unauthorized use of breakdown lane (i.e. using the breakdown lane for anything other than its intended purpose)
Were you hit by a car while jogging? You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. For your free legal consultation, contact our law offices today.
Our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys assist pedestrian accident victims, and family members of fatal pedestrian accident victims, throughout all of Massachusetts including but not limited to Plymouth County, Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Hingham, Duxbury, Wareham, Abington, Rockland, Whitman, Hanson, Holbrook, Middleborough; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Westport, Dartmouth, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Lakeville, Norton; Cape Cod, Hyannis, Falmouth, Barnstable and the Greater Boston area including Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn, Revere, Dorchester, Roxbury.