Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents

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Although popular belief would seem otherwise, pedestrians do not always have the right of way when crossing streets. This is a key aspect to avoiding pedestrian accidents. A pedestrian’s right of way is actually limited to crossing properly - crossing at an intersection with traffic control signals means a pedestrian must obey the signals, and being within a crosswalk does not excuse violating the signal.

Avoid Pedestrian Accidents: Observe Marked and Unmarked Crosswalks

Crosswalks can be either marked, with obvious lines designating a pedestrian path, or unmarked. Marked crosswalks are often found at places other than intersections. Unmarked crosswalks only occur in intersections as a type of extension of the sidewalk (paved or unpaved) across the street. Arizona law defines a sidewalk as: The portion of a street between the curb lines or edges of the road and the adjacent property lines, intended for the use of pedestrians.

Crossing at Other Intersections

Pedestrians crossing streets at places other than marked or unmarked crosswalks are required by law to yield to the right of way to all vehicles. When two adjacent intersections have traffic control signals, pedestrians are forbidden to cross the street outside of the marked crosswalks, for example in the middle of the block.

Practicing Due Care Pedestrian or Not

Just because a pedestrian violates the street crossing laws motorists are not relieved of all responsibility.  There is a duty of “due care” on drivers to avoid hitting and injuring pedestrians who do not obey the law. Regardless, pedestrians should always cross at an intersection if one is nearby, stay within the marked or unmarked crosswalks, and obey traffic control signals if they exist.  Do not assume that others will follow the law – you can accept right of way when it is presented, but you cannot demand it.

If you’ve suffered from a motor vehicle accident or a pedestrian accident, you need the expert advice of motor vehicle accident attorneys such as those at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC.

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