Posted on:Feb 12, 2024

When Do Pedestrians Have the Right of Way? 

HomeBlogWhen Do Pedestrians Have the Right of Way? 

Pedestrian rights of way refer to the legal principles that dictate when pedestrians have the right to cross a road safely and when drivers must yield to them. These laws vary but generally prioritize pedestrian safety over vehicle movement. 

While it may seem straightforward, there are many instances where determining the correct right of way for pedestrians can be puzzling. Saavedra Law Firm, PLC recognizes the sensitivity of these situations. That is why their team strives to educate others on when pedestrians truly have the right of way, empowering individuals to gain a better understanding of their rights after being involved in a pedestrian accident.

When Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way

In most cases, pedestrians have the right of way at marked or unmarked crosswalks, regardless of traffic signals. This means that even if a traffic signal is green for vehicles, drivers must still yield to pedestrians who have already started crossing the road. 

Pedestrians always have the right of way when crossing at a crosswalk with a pedestrian-activated flashing beacon or a standard traffic light. Drivers must wait until pedestrians have safely crossed before proceeding.

Pedestrians also have the right of way when walking on sidewalks, which are meant for pedestrian use only. Drivers must yield to pedestrians on sidewalks and give them adequate space while passing. 

When Drivers Have the Right of Way

While pedestrians generally have the right of way, there are certain situations where drivers have priority on the roads. In general, vehicles have the right of way when turning at an intersection with a green light or making a right turn on red after stopping and yielding to any pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Additionally, if no marked or unmarked crosswalk is available, pedestrians must yield to vehicles when crossing the road. This is especially important on busy roads where drivers may be unable to see or anticipate pedestrians crossing.

Common Misunderstandings

A few common misunderstandings about pedestrian rights of way can lead to dangerous situations on the road. One such misunderstanding is that pedestrians always have the right of way, regardless of their actions. In reality, pedestrians must also exercise caution and follow traffic signals when crossing the road. 

Another misunderstanding is that drivers are always at fault in accidents involving pedestrians. Studies have shown that pedestrians are more often at fault due to illegal behavior such as jaywalking and public intoxication. While drivers are responsible for yielding to pedestrians, both parties share the responsibility of following traffic laws and being aware of their surroundings.

Why It Can Be Tricky

Pedestrian rights of way can be intricate as they are frequently open to interpretation and contingent on the circumstances. For instance, while a driver may possess the right of way when executing a turn, if they fail to notice a pedestrian crossing, they could still be deemed responsible in the event of an accident. 

If a pedestrian accident does happen, it’s important to remember that deciphering liability, understanding insurance policies, and negotiating settlements are tasks best handled by experienced legal professionals.

Why Choose Saavedra Law Firm, PLC?

With Saavedra Law Firm, PLC, clients become the top priority. Understanding every client’s unique story allows a better representation of their interests. Attorney Freddy Saavedra provides dependable, tenacious representation to injury victims with no fees charged unless the case is won. 

Find Clarity Today

In conclusion, respecting pedestrian rights and prioritizing safety on our roads is a collective responsibility. When accidents occur, the complex legal landscape requires the guidance of experienced professionals. At Saavedra Law Firm, PLC, the team stands ready to provide the support needed to navigate these challenging circumstances. Reach out today to let them be your advocate in this difficult time.

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