Sidewalks and crosswalks are in place to keep pedestrians safe across the country. To keep them even safer, there are laws that walkers and drivers have to follow. In our state, these laws are in Title 75 of the Statutes of Pennsylvania. Let’s take a look at the pedestrian laws in PA so that walkers and motorists alike know what rights pedestrians have on our roads.
As a general rule, pedestrians have the right-of-way in our state. Here are the specifics of those rules so that motorists and pedestrians know how to handle crosswalks:
- If an intersection or another location on the road does not have traffic control signals, a motorist must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian who is crossing inside a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
- Drivers are not required to yield until the pedestrian begins to step into the crosswalk.
- Pedestrians cannot suddenly leave the curb and walk or run into a crosswalk when a vehicle is approaching and is close enough to be a hazard.
- If a vehicle is stopped at a crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to cross, the vehicle behind them cannot pass them.
Breaking these laws not only puts the lives of pedestrians in danger, but it can also result in fines for the driver who disregards these rules. A driver who does not yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian in a marked or unmarked crosswalk will face a fine of $50.
The greater consequence of these actions, though, would be the damage that can be done to a person crossing the street. If they were using the crosswalk and being cautious, they likely weren’t expecting a motorist to barrel through the walkway. Since the car is larger and heavier than them, and their body is fully exposed and takes the force of the car and then hits the ground, pedestrians can suffer from catastrophic injuries after an accident.
In worst case scenarios, the injuries could even lead to death. This is why it’s vital for drivers to watch for pedestrians and follow the laws. Let’s take a look at how pedestrians can maintain their safety as best as possible while crossing the street.
Safety Tips for Walkers
No matter how much you try to be safe, there’s only so much you can do to keep from being in an accident. When other people in this world are negligent, it’s not always possible to avoid injuries from their actions, especially when you’re a pedestrian just trying to cross the street to get where you need to go.
PennDOT lists tips for pedestrians on their site so walkers can try to stay as safe as possible while walking:
- Only cross at crosswalks.
- Don’t walk in between vehicles.
- Step into a crosswalk when there’s a gap in traffic.
- Make eye contact with the approaching drivers.
- Obey traffic signals, especially the countdowns for pedestrians.
- Even if you have the right-of-way while crossing, always watch for turning vehicles because they might not see you while they’re turning.
- Wear bright clothing so you can be seen easily, and if it’s dark outside, wear reflective clothing or other materials.
- Watch children at all times.
- If there are multiple lanes of traffic, make sure that all drivers are yielding to you.
- Always pay attention to all of your surroundings, whether you’re preparing to cross the street or not.
- When there aren’t sidewalks, always walk the furthest to the right as possible and walk against traffic so that you can see cars coming.
It’s a given that motorists should follow driving laws at all times, especially the laws pertaining to pedestrians and crosswalks. Much like walkers can take extra precautions to stay safe, drivers can as well to keep walkers safe. One of the main things that motorists can do to keep everyone safe is to watch their speed and always follow the speed limit. If they are approaching a crosswalk, they should slow down to anticipate a pedestrian crossing.
Drivers and pedestrians alike should always be aware of their surroundings and try to anticipate what others might do. While we all hope that other drivers or pedestrians will follow the rules, it’s best not to expect them to. That way, you’re always prepared if someone makes a careless decision.
Our Philly Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Even though we listed safety tips above, there’s only so much you can do to prevent an accident from happening when someone else is acting negligently. If you’ve been the victim of a car vs. pedestrian accident in Philadelphia, then you could use the help of an attorney.
At Shrager & Sachs, we understand how difficult it can be to deal with the injuries and costs that you incurred from the collision. That’s why we’re here to help you recover financially. Reach out to our office today so we can get started on your claim and hold the driver accountable for their actions.