What are the Pedestrians’ Rights on the Road?

Are there any pedesterians’ rights? When crossing at an intersection, within a crosswalk, or a roadway without one, pedestrians should always follow certain guidelines to ensure safety.

At the same time, a driver must be extremely vigilant while driving down busy intersections to ensure there are not any mishaps with a pedestrian. But what are a pedestrians’ rights?

Adams Law Firm encourages all pedestrians and motorists to eliminate distractions.

Eliminate Distractions

Often, pedestrians are even more distracted than a driver. Many pedestrians are on their phones while walking out in the middle of the road. Some are listening to music with earphones, texting, or even texting while talking on their devices on speakerphone!

The number of incidents of pedestrians being hit by cars is on the rise. In 2013, 180 pedestrians were killed statewide, making it the deadliest year for pedestrians since 1997.  The CDC reported that in 2015,  5,376 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States. This averages to one crash-related pedestrian death every 1.6 hours! Additionally, almost 129,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal crash-related injuries in 2015. Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash on each trip.

So, Who Has the Right of Way?

The Governor’s Office on Highway Safety helps to educate pedestrians’ rights regarding right of way and their duties to watch out for their own safety, in addition to vehicle driver’s duties to watch for pedestrians.

Georgia law clarifies pedestrians’ rights. A pedestrian has the right of way while in a cross walk.

§ 40-6-91 of the Georgia Code law on Right of Way in Crosswalks:

“(a) The driver of a vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching and is within one lane of the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For the purposes of this subsection, “half of the roadway” means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel.”

In other words, it’s illegal for drivers to squeeze by, drive around, or cut off a pedestrian in a crosswalk, even if there’s room. Forget yield. Remember STOP.

The law further states:

“(b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield.”

But what about someone who does not walk in the crosswalk, i.e., “jaywalkers,” which is most of the universe? What are pedestrians’ rights then?

The law states:

  • 40-6-92. of the Georgia Code law in a roadway elsewhere than at crosswalk:

“(a) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway unless he has already, and under safe conditions, entered the roadway.

(b) Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway if he uses the roadway instead of such tunnel or crossing.

(c) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation, pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.”

Often, the injuries as a pedestrian who is hit are some of the worst injuries we have seen. So be careful out there. We’re looking out for you at the Adams Law Firm!

The Adams Law Firm has personally represented numerous pedestrians who have been struck by vehicles.  If you are the victim of an accident, call Adams Law Firm today at (478) 845-1961.

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