Surprisingly, pedestrians don’t always have the right of way. In fact, if they fail to follow traffic laws, they can be found at fault for car accidents.
If you think a pedestrian is at fault for your auto accident, reach out to your New York car accident lawyer from The Weinstein Law Group, PLLC for a free consultation. Call (212) 741-3800 now.
New York laws concerning pedestrians
It’s often assumed that pedestrians have the right of way no matter what and drivers are consistently the responsible party.
However, the state of New York has specific laws in place to protect both pedestrians and drivers. When pedestrians fail to follow these laws, they could be held responsible for any damages they cause.
The following actions by pedestrians could entitle you to compensation. If you think a pedestrian’s actions resulted in your car accident, it’s important to receive medical attention and file a police report first. Then, talk to a lawyer to discuss your rights.
Pedestrians must follow all traffic controls and signals.
According to Title 7 Article 27, “pedestrians shall be subject to traffic-control signals as provided in section eleven hundred eleven of this title.”
For example, if a roadway doesn’t have pedestrian walking signals but it does have stop lights, then they are still required to follow the appropriate traffic signals. If they attempt to cross the road at a red light, they could be responsible for the car accident it causes.
Pedestrians must not step abruptly in the roadway.
Crosswalks are there to give people a safe place to cross the road. It’s New York law that drivers must yield the right of way to anyone who is crossing the crosswalk.
Even so, pedestrians must allow drivers to slow down. The law states, “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.”
People who are attempting to cross a crosswalk must stop and give drivers the chance to see them and slow down. Darting immediately in front of a car could lead to costly accidents for which the pedestrian is responsible.
Pedestrians must yield the right of way whenever crossing a roadway not designated for pedestrians.
Sometimes pedestrians will find themselves on a road that doesn’t have any signals or other safety markings. In these cases, the drivers always have the right of way. New York law states that pedestrians must proceed with caution, yielding to the drivers.
People who fail to yield to drivers in these scenarios could be held responsible for any injuries resulting from the car accident.
It’s also against the law for pedestrians to cross an intersection diagonally unless they are instructed by a traffic control device. This is colloquially called “jaywalking” and holds the pedestrian responsible for the accidents they cause.
Pedestrians should always use the right half of crosswalks when crossing.
There is also a correct and incorrect way for pedestrians to use marked crosswalks.
The law states clearly, “Pedestrians shall move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of crosswalks.”
When pedestrians maintain walking on the right-hand side, they prevent confusion among other people and the foot traffic moves along smoothly. Any disruptions to foot traffic could cause people to trip and fall in the roadway, or slow down movement across the road in such a way that it causes a traffic accident.
No one is allowed to stand in the roadway to solicit rides or sell things.
Peddling products or soliciting rides isn’t just bothersome, it can be illegal, too. It all depends on where the person is when they are doing it.
It’s against New York law to stand in the roadway with the purpose of soliciting a ride or business from drivers or passengers.
Hitching rides or selling products is also not allowed on “any part of a state highway, except in a
city or village.”
This behavior could cause vehicles to stall on the road due to distraction from the solicitor, which could then lead to another driver rear-ending them. If this happens to you, file a police report and immediately record whether an accident was caused by a solicitor who was standing in the roadway.
Right of way in parking lots
Parking lots and parking garages are a common scene of pedestrian accidents, especially when drivers are attempting to back out of their space with limited visibility.
Both drivers and pedestrians have shared responsibility in these cases. Drivers should always expect to yield the right of way to pedestrians. However, any person walking beside or behind a vehicle should do all they can to stay within the driver’s field of vision, and avoid walking or stopping behind vehicles that are backing up.
It’s also important for pedestrians not to block the path of vehicles while they are in motion and to avoid darting in front of or behind vehicles so quickly that the driver doesn’t have time to stop.
Involved in a pedestrian accident? Call us.
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, you have options. Contact a New York car accident lawyer for a free consultation. We would love to discuss your chances of compensation.
One of the experienced pedestrian at fault lawyers from The Weinstein Law Group is ready to help. Call (212) 741-3800 today.