Defining Pedestrian Right Of Way

Motor vehicle accidents kill 5,000 pedestrians and injure nearly 65,000 people walking each year.

Any type of car accident that results in death or injury is tragic, but how do you know if it was the driver or the pedestrian who had the right of way?

When Do Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way?

Pedestrians’ right of way is well defined legally in intersections, where cars and walkers most frequently meet.

When the light is green, and the walking signal is on at an intersection with stoplights and turn signals, cars must yield to pedestrians and allow them the right of way.

When there are no lights or signals at an intersection, drivers must yield to crossing pedestrians, especially if a marked crosswalk is present.

Not all pedestrians are created equal under the law. For example, any children or “particularly vulnerable” people, such as a blind person, must be given the right of way by a driver.

What Is The Pedestrian Duty Of Care?

When walking as a form of transportation, pedestrians have a legal duty of care.

The Pedestrian’s Duty of Care includes:

  • Walking on the correct side of the road (facing oncoming traffic), in the absence of sidewalks
  • Use marked crosswalks when crossing the street.
  • Abiding by the “Walk/Don’t Walk” signals traffic lights.

However, even if a pedestrian decides to dart out in front of a vehicle, disrupt the flow of traffic, or jaywalk and is injured, they may still have a case depending on what the motorist was also doing at the time.

Drivers must exercise a reasonable duty of care while driving to help prevent an accident. This means no speeding, not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, no texting, and driving, and adhering to traffic signals and signs.

If a driver’s negligence causes an accident, the injured party may seek compensation.

What Should I Do If I’m In An Auto Accident Involving A Pedestrian?

If you were driving an automobile and were in an accident that involved a pedestrian, call Hyland, Padilla, & Fowler’s offices right away. Our legal team provides free consultations to help you understand if the pedestrian might have an actual case or not.

We have vast experience working on auto accidents involving pedestrians and can help you navigate the laws around the pedestrian’s right of way. In addition, we can investigate the accident by examining photographs of the scene, talking to witnesses, and analyzing police reports and other documents to help you win your case.

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