One potential issue with the “safety” provided by pedestrian crosswalks is that a person generally has the walk symbol at the same time that cars on the road next to them have a green light. If those cars are proceeding through the light, this works beautifully. When you run into problems is when the cars are turning right.
Right-turn pedestrian accidents
In a situation like this, the driver is allowed to make that right turn. They’re supposed to yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian, allow them to cross and then turn.
Unfortunately, far too many drivers never even look at the crosswalk or the sidewalk where a pedestrian may be waiting. As soon as that light turns green, they know that no other cars are going to be in their way, so they just turn. If a person waiting for the walk signal puts blind faith in it and steps out into the street, they’re going to get hit.
Part of the issue is that drivers waiting to turn right often get caught staring left during the red light. They know they can turn when there’s a break in traffic, so they stare in that direction, waiting for the break, and never look to the right. They know there shouldn’t be a car in that direction to avoid. They’re correct but forgetting that a pedestrian could legally be there can lead to a catastrophic accident.
Now, trusting a walk signal doesn’t make the crash your fault. It’s still the driver’s fault for not looking, and you need to know what legal options you have.