When Does a Pedestrian Have the Right of Way?


A woman was jogging in Pearland this morning when she was hit by a truck.  The woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition.  Witnesses report the truck had a green light when it struck the woman crossing the street.  Under what circumstances does a pedestrian have the right away on the road?

Traffic Control Signals

A pedestrian is required to follow the same traffic signals as vehicles if there is no special pedestrian control signal.  When there is a pedestrian control signal, the pedestrian is required to follow that signal.  When the signal displays “Walk,” the pedestrian may walk towards the signal.  The operator of a vehicle must yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian.  A pedestrian may not start to cross a roadway in the direction of  “Don’t Walk” or “Wait.”

Operators of vehicles must remember that they must yield to pedestrians with a “Walk” signal even when they have the green light.  This scenario reminds me of a client I represented who was injured as a pedestrian when crossing the street with a “Walk” signal.  The driver of the vehicle had a green left arrow and took the turn without checking for any pedestrians. The driver was found responsible for hitting my client because my client had a “Walk” signal. 

Crosswalk with No Control Signals

If there is no control signal, a vehicle is supposed to yield to a pedestrian crossing the street at a crosswalk.  In addition, it is against the law for an operator of a vehicle to attempt to pass a vehicle that is stopped for a pedestrian. However, a pedestrian is not supposed to leave a curb when a vehicle is so close that it would not be possible for the operator of the vehicle to yield.

Crossing at Point other than Crosswalk

When a pedestrian is not crossing at a crosswalk, the pedestrian must yield the right-of-way to the vehicle. 

If you have been injured in an accident, contact  O'Hara Law Firm.


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