By: Passalacqua & Associates

Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way?

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In short, the answer is no. There are several factors to consider when answering this question, however. Have you or a loved one been involved in an accident in a crosswalk? Are you wanting to clarify your rights and obtain justice for yourself or a loved one? As straightforward as this question may seem, there are several facts to consider in determining whether or not you or the driver had the right of way. In some cases, while you are looking to get your questions answered, you may be out of work with medical bills piling up as a result of your injuries. Having a trusted team of attorneys at your side to help you navigate this process can help you to obtain the justice and stress relief you deserve.

We are here to help. Contact us at (315) 500-6425 to learn more about what your options are and discuss how to get started.

What are the Rules or Laws Regarding Crosswalks?

Generally speaking, pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks and intersections, whether marked or unmarked. Drivers should allow the pedestrian to cross before driving through the intersection, as well as when that driver is pulling out into a street, leaving a parking space/structure, and the like.

Pedestrians are expected to follow the rules of the “walk” or “don’t walk” signals, where applicable. These are not only set up for safety but are to be treated similarly to stoplights and are taken into consideration in right-of-way cases.

If there is a sidewalk provided, pedestrians are expected to use it. In the absence of a sidewalk, pedestrians can walk on the shoulder facing traffic as it makes them more visible to oncoming traffic and helps themselves and drivers maintain safety.

Pedestrians are not allowed in areas such as highways, expressways, interstates, etc. They are also not allowed on entrance ramps or exit ramps.

Who Has the Right of Way at a Traffic Light?

At stoplights where the “walk” signal is available, pedestrians should utilize this time to cross. In cases where the green light and the “walk” signal happen simultaneously, the driver should yield to the pedestrian when turning left or right, as pedestrians have the right of way even if the light is green.

There are several other exceptions, including those set in place for blind or visually impaired persons in crosswalks, pedestrians crossing at intersections not clearly marked, pedestrians that are soliciting rides or business, when traffic signals aren’t in working order in crosswalks, and more.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me?

There is not an easy or black-and-white answer to whether or not pedestrians always have the right of way in New York. As you can see, there are several factors at hand, and the specifics of your case will determine what options you have. Contact us today at (315) 500-6425 to learn more about your options and how we are able to help.