Who Has the Right of Way?

Everyone has been a pedestrian at some point, but very few people know the Alabama laws regarding pedestrians.

Just like drivers, motor riders, and bicyclists, pedestrians must obey the rules of the road. And, unlike what you may have heard—pedestrians do not always have the right of way.

It is very important that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a pedestrian. This knowledge will help you avoid an accident, which can result in devastating injuries. If you are in an accident, it will help you protect your rights.

What are your rights as a pedestrian? When do you have the right of way?

Under Alabama law, pedestrians must obey all traffic-control devices (like crosswalk signals) applicable to them, except when they are told to do otherwise by a police officer.

When in crosswalks, pedestrians have the right of way only under certain conditions. Pedestrians have the right of way when there are no traffic-control signals (or when those signals aren’t working). Vehicles must slow down and stop when approaching pedestrians that are in or close to their lane.

Pedestrians are required to use crosswalks when they are available, and they should use the right half of the crosswalk. They are prohibited from crossing an intersection diagonally (unless authorized).

When crossing at someplace other than a crosswalk, pedestrians do not have the right of way. They must yield to traffic. Pedestrians must also not suddenly leave the curb.

On sidewalks, pedestrians have the right of way. It is illegal for pedestrians to walk on the road when there is a sidewalk available. When there is no sidewalk, pedestrians must walk on the shoulder, as far away from traffic as possible. When walking on the road, pedestrians must give the right of way to traffic.

Finally, drivers must give the right of way to pedestrians who are blind and are carrying a white cane or have a guide dog.

If you are ever injured in an accident as a pedestrian, make sure to call an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible.

The Huntsville, AL pedestrian accident lawyers at Martinson & Beason, P.C. are here to help you. We’ll answer your questions and let you know your options and rights. Our firm will fight for the compensation you need and deserve to get back on your feet after an accident. Call us today for a free consultation with a dedicated attorney.