You typically won’t encounter pedestrians while traveling on Arizona or New Mexico highways. However, if you do see someone walking on the shoulder or across lanes of traffic, it’s your responsibility to do whatever you can to avoid a collision.
Why pedestrians might be on the highway
As a general rule, you’ll see pedestrians on the side of the highway assessing why their engine died or how badly their cars were damaged in a crash. You might also see pedestrians pushing their cars to the shoulder or walking for help. However, individuals may also walk into highway traffic because they are impaired or otherwise disoriented. They may not know that they are in danger of being struck by a car or the potential damage that it may do to their bodies.
You have a duty of care toward others on the road
Regardless of what others do, you have a responsibility to take reasonable actions to avoid causing them harm. Failing to do so could expose you to a personal injury lawsuit. If you see a person walking into the path of your car, you should slow down or swerve if it’s safe to do so. Avoiding distractions may allow you to notice a pedestrian in enough time to take action without putting anyone in danger. If your car has advanced safety features, it may slow itself or come to a stop for you.
If you’re involved in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, it may be worthwhile to take legal action against that individual. Witness statements, a police report and other evidence may be used during settlement talks or during a trial. It may be possible to obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages and the cost of replacing property damaged in a crash.