Injuries on the Rise in Salt Lake City from Car and Pedestrian Collisions

Last night while out driving, I was in a line of cars exiting a parking garage. Like most parking garages, the gate controlling entrance and exit from the garage was set about 15 feet from the edge of the nearest sidewalk. This garage also had concrete walls on both sides of the exit that limited visibility of the sidewalk. The car in front of me paid his fee, waited for the arm blocking the exit to rise, and quickly accelerated out and across the sidewalk up to the edge of the street. Moments after the car had left, but before I reached the sidewalk, a wide-eyed mother and child peeked around the concrete wall, obviously surprised by a vehicle speeding by them on the crosswalk.

Utah law requires that drivers of a motor vehicle “emerging from an alley, building, private road or driveway within a business” stop their “vehicle immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto the sidewalk area extending across the alley, building, private road, or driveway.”Utah Code 41-6a-907(1).In other words, any time you are exiting a parking garage, Utah law requires that you stop right before the sidewalk, regardless of whether you were stopped 15 feet before the sidewalk. People who don’t follow this rule could end up causing serious injury.

The safety reasons behind this rule are simple to understand.The average weight of even small compact cars is between 3,000 to 4,500 pounds.http://www.autos.com/car-buying/vehicle-weight-averages-for-certain-models.Visibility exiting garages is often limited.It is easy to imagine that a pedestrian on a crosswalk, bundled up from the cold and focusing only on what is in front of them, would rightly assume he/she is safe on the crosswalk and continue walking directly in front of the exit of the garage. Even with such a short distance to accelerate, severe damage could be done to that pedestrian if the driver of a 4,000 pound vehicle exiting the garage does not stop “immediately prior” to the sidewalk and check his/her surroundings.

At Eisenberg, Gilchrist, & Cutt, we specialize in helping individuals injured by the negligence of others.If you or someone you know has been injured, call one of our experienced attorneys for a free consultation.We are happy to discuss what happened with you and discuss your options.We will give you a fair and honest assessment, even if it means not hiring us.

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