The Dangers of Pedestrians on the Roadway

Traffic incidents involving vehicles and pedestrians are a tragic and far too often risk in our daily commutes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 14% of all traffic related fatalities were pedestrians. That’s up 3% from ten years prior.

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It is important to keep in mind the specific rules and regulations involving pedestrians for the state of Alabama. Memorizing the proper protocols and laws involving pedestrian travel can help keep you, your loved ones, and everyone else safe. Regarding pedestrian safety, there may be some facts not everyone knows.

Who Yields?

This depends on the situation. In Alabama, vehicles yield to pedestrians only in the presence of a crosswalk. On roads without crosswalks, it is the pedestrian’s responsibility to yield right-of-way to traffic. This does not give drivers free rein in this case. All drivers are expected to exercise full caution and keep a watchful eye to avoid collisions.

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Where Can I Cross?

If a crosswalk is provided, always use the crosswalk. To not is to commit jaywalking. When a crosswalk is otherwise unavailable, a pedestrian may cross wherever, as long as right-of-way belongs to the drivers. There is one condition: pedestrians cannot walk diagonally across an intersection.

What About Sidewalks?

When a sidewalk is provided, a pedestrian must use it instead of walking along the edge of a road. There are no excuses for party size or 2-way sidewalk traffic. On roads without sidewalks, the pedestrian must walk as far left as possible to keep out of the way of oncoming traffic.

Both drivers and pedestrians have a responsibility to keep aware and careful on roadways. Being alert, courteous, and mindful of the rules can help keep everyone safe. However, accidents do happen. Being involved in a traffic accident can be a stressful and frightening experience, both during and afterwards. If you ever find yourself in such an incident, be sure to contact a lawyer to help protect your rights.