Some rules of the road can be confusing, even for people who have been driving for a long time. Rules regarding pedestrians can be especially confusing because large cities and rural areas have people walking along almost every road. For this reason, it is important to drive safely to prevent a car accident or pedestrian accident from happening.
Do Pedestrians Have the Right-of-Way All the Time?
Pedestrians have the right-of-way when they are in a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Marked crosswalks are the lined paths that cross roads at intersections. Unmarked crosswalks are paths that are indicated by signs at the intersection. You can clearly see that the crosswalk is there, even if you do not see the lines on the ground.
Pedestrians, however, do not have the right-of-way if they are in the middle of the road and not in a crosswalk.
What About Turning at Traffic Lights?
Drivers who are making a legal right turn at a traffic light may encounter pedestrians who are crossing legally. You should allow pedestrians to finish crossing before you turn.
You should, however, judge how far the pedestrians have walked when you are ready to turn. If the pedestrians are not halfway across, you may turn. If they are on your side of the road, you should give them the right-of-way.
Does a Pedestrian Have a Duty to Motorists?
Pedestrians should not cross the road or step into traffic so close that they would create a hazardous situation. Pedestrians should wait until crosswalk signals allow them to cross, and they should not cross intersections diagonally.
Pedestrians who live in urban areas may believe that they can cross at any time. This is not true, and you will be cited for illegally crossing if you cause an accident.
Pedestrians in rural areas may believe they can cross at will if the roads are empty. This is also not correct.
Should Drivers Yield If Pedestrians Are in the Wrong?
Pedestrians often cross the street illegally, but drivers have time to slow down or stop. As a driver, you should take the high road, slow down, and stop. In most states, you must stop near pedestrians, whether they are crossing illegally or not.
Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Aid Drivers and Pedestrians Involved in Accidents
Speak to one of our dedicated Virginia Beach car accident lawyers if you have been injured in an accident that involved a pedestrian. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we will protect your rights and determine who is accountable for your accident. Call us at 757-352-2237 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.