Pedestrians typically have the right of way when crossing the road; however, this isn’t always the case. In general, when at a red light, a driver comes to a full stop and allows pedestrians to cross. However, when the light is green, and pedestrians enter the crosswalk, they aren’t expected to yield to drivers. Unlike most states, Georgia requires cars to stop even at a green light once pedestrians enter the crosswalk. The right of way is automatically given to pedestrians even when not inside a marked crosswalk. According to car accident lawyer Henningsen, pedestrians also have their own responsibilities. In some cases, they can be held liable for their own injuries.
Drivers must do their best to make sure that they do not hit pedestrians that are crossing the road. Unlike car drivers, pedestrians have no protection during a traffic accident.
Stopping For Pedestrians
At crosswalks, drivers are required to stop and remain stopped for pedestrians. Until the pedestrian leaves the driver’s side of the road, drivers must remain in their spots. According to Georgia law, a car cannot pass another vehicle that has stopped for a pedestrian.
The right-of-way laws also apply to turning motorists. If a driver is turning right or left, even if they have a green light, they still must allow pedestrians to cross.
Leave Crosswalk Open
Any marked crossing, driveway, or intersection without traffic signals requires drivers to either stop or yield to pedestrians as necessary. At a red light, vehicles must not block the walkway. You shouldn’t leave any part of your car protruding over the crosswalk when you stop at a red light.
Pedestrians who cross intersections typically will do so at a designated crosswalk. In general, there is a pedestrian crosswalk sign that indicates when they can cross the road safely. Drivers must pay attention and stop when they see signs that indicate where pedestrians are crossing.
While the majority of people think of a crosswalk as the white-lined path that crosses a junction, it’s vital to remember that there are other unmarked crosswalks. At intersections, pedestrians can cross the street at an unmarked crosswalk and still have the right of way. The pedestrian walkway is designated by painted white lines at a marked crosswalk but not at an unmarked crosswalk. When there are no sidewalks or curbs, an unmarked crosswalk can be the space from the edge of the road on one side of the street to the opposite side.
Car drivers also have the right of way in many circumstances. They are not always required to stop if a pedestrian is stopping at an inappropriate location. According to the law OCGA § 40-6-91(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.”
If a pedestrian acts irresponsibly, for example, if they were intoxicated, fooling around on the road, or unreasonably putting themself in the line of danger, the driver won’t be in the wrong. However, drivers must do their best to avoid pedestrians whenever they are on the street.
Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Sometimes it can be confusing for drivers to know when to yield, especially when there are unmarked crosswalks. However, there is no distinction between a marked and an unmarked crosswalk in terms of the law. It is safer to stop as soon as a pedestrian crosses the road regardless of their location.