Kentucky driver sentenced to six years after fatal pedestrian accident

According to the Central Kentucky News, a Danville man was sentenced to the maximum penalty of six years in prison after the death of a female pedestrian he struck and killed with his vehicle in 2013. Police reports indicate that the man hit the woman with his truck and then left the scene of the auto accident, reportedly telling his passenger to keep it a secret.

The next day, the passenger reported the incident to police officers, who visited his home and found blood and hair on his Dodge Ram. The police also noted that a dark film had been removed from the vehicle's windows. He was sentenced to the maximum six years for leaving the scene of an accident, although due to the time difference between the collision and his arrest, he was not tested for drug or alcohol use.

Pedestrians face risks on Kentucky roads

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pedestrian accidents resulted in more than 4,200 deaths nationwide in 2010, and injured another 70,000 people. To put this into perspective, this amounts to roughly one pedestrian death every two hours and one injury every eight minutes.

When pedestrians share the road with motor vehicles, they are significantly outmatched in terms of size and mass. If a collision occurs, chances are good that the pedestrian will be injured or even killed, even if the vehicle is traveling at a relatively low rate of speed.

In many of these situations, drivers are simply not paying close enough attention and remaining alert for pedestrians. While motorists are usually on the lookout for other cars and trucks, they sometimes forget to look for people on foot, especially at intersections and crosswalks. Pedestrians often have the right-of-way in these areas, but drivers may fail to yield to them and can put them in severe danger - especially if pedestrians think drivers are aware of their presence.

The CDC recommends a few steps both drivers and passengers should take to reduce the risk of serious accidents. First, drivers should be diligent about watching for pedestrians at all times. When making turns, they should first look to see if a person on foot might be crossing. Additionally, they should be careful of pedestrians who might not have a sidewalk and must walk on the shoulder of the road. In these instances, drivers must slow down significantly and give ample space between their vehicles and pedestrians.

For their part, pedestrians should exercise caution when walking on or near busy streets, attempting to meet drivers' eyes before walking across the road to be sure they see them. And if walking at night, people on foot should try to wear bright or reflective clothing, while only crossing at areas delineated for crossing.

Pedestrians and motorists often need to share the road, and they both need to be careful to avoid serious accidents. If you have been injured in a pedestrian-vehicle crash, you may need to seek compensation from those responsible. Speak with a skilled Louisville personal injury attorney to learn more about your options for a potential injury claim.