Every child is supposed to be taught to always look both ways before crossing a street. However, besides that rule that your mother drilled into your brain, you were never actually taught the proper laws to follow when walking near traffic. In order to receive a license, you must take and pass driver’s education, but there’s no course to get your walking license, so how are you supposed to know what you can, and can’t do as a pedestrian?
You always hear people say that pedestrians have the right-of-way, but if you walk in front of a line of cars who have the green light, are you liable for a crash, or are they always supposed to stop for you no matter what? What are the pedestrian laws when it comes to traffic?
Pedestrian Laws You Need to Know and Obey
The Texas Municipal Court estimates that 11 percent of all Texas traffic crashes are pedestrian related, accounting for nearly 350 deaths per year. Of these crashes, an alarming 80 percent are caused by the direct actions of the pedestrians—not the drivers of the vehicles which hit them. This is why it is extremely important to not only know pedestrian safety laws, but to also follow them diligently, in order to protect yourself.
These laws include:
- Obey pedestrian control signs. Pay attention to “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” signs and lights, never walk against a light, and continue to cross as quickly as possible if the sign changes when you are already crossing the street.
- Know where to walk. Always walk on the sidewalk. If there isn’t a sidewalk, make sure you walk on the left side of the road, or facing oncoming traffic so you can always tell when a car is approaching—never put your back toward oncoming vehicles.
- Know where to cross. Always cross a roadway at a designated crosswalk or intersection. If there isn’t a crosswalk, you must yield to oncoming traffic, and only proceed crossing when the road is clear.
- Use common sense. Although drivers should use reasonable caution to avoid hitting you, don’t ever walk out in front of a moving vehicle—even if you have the right-of-way.
It is true that vehicles have far more traffic laws and rules to help them avoid pedestrian crashes than you as a pedestrian have. However, even though drivers should always take precautions and evasive action to avoid hitting you while you walk, you actually have more power and control to help prevent your own crash. Cars have varying stopping speeds, blind spots, and maneuvering capabilities. You on the other hand, have the advantage of being able to stop walking in a second, have a clear view of potential dangers, and can quickly move out of the way of impending harm. Remember, even if you believe you have the right-of-way, your being right isn’t going to stop a two-ton car from smashing into you. Stay cautious and keep your head up to help avoid becoming a statistic.
Walking Tall After an Accident
If you’ve recently been injured in a side-impact collision and need help with your injury claim, contact us today. Our knowledge and eagerness to fight for you will help prove why having an experienced lawyer is the first step to getting the settlement you deserve. Don’t let someone else’s negligence affect your stride. Contact us now, and allow us to help you walk tall.
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