At Ashby Thelen Lowry, our Georgia personal injury attorneys know that while pedestrians generally have the right of way in many situations, it is inaccurate to say that they always have the right of way in Georgia.
The right of way is a legal concept that dictates who has the legal right to proceed first in specific situations, but it can vary based on the circumstances.
In Georgia, pedestrians have the right of way in certain situations, but they also have responsibilities to ensure their safety and the safety of others.
When Do Georgia Pedestrians Have the Right the Way?
Vehicle-pedestrian collisions are at a 40-year high nationwide, making pedestrian safety a priority in small and large cities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 8,000 pedestrians were killed on our nation’s roads in crashes involving motor vehicles last year.
One in six people who died in crashes last year were pedestrians. That’s about one death every 66 minutes. In addition, there were also an estimated 104,000 emergency department visits of pedestrians treated for non-fatal crash-related injuries over the same period.
Here are some critical points regarding the pedestrian right of way:
Marked Crosswalks: In marked crosswalks at intersections, pedestrians have the right of way, and drivers must yield to pedestrians.
Unmarked Crosswalks: There is an implied crosswalk at intersections without marked crosswalks, and pedestrians still have the right of way.
- Traffic Signals
Pedestrian Signals: Pedestrians must follow traffic signals at intersections. When the pedestrian signal indicates “walk,” pedestrians have the right of way but must not enter the roadway against a “don’t walk” signal.
- Pedestrian Responsibilities
Use Crosswalks: Pedestrians are generally required to use crosswalks when available and follow traffic signals.
Exercise Due Care: Pedestrians must exercise due care for their safety. They should not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
- Vehicle Responsibilities
Yielding to Pedestrians: Drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks and at intersections when pedestrians have the right of way.
Exercise Due Care: Drivers must exercise due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians, regardless of whether the pedestrian has the right of way.
Both pedestrians and drivers must know and understand the rules governing the right of way to prevent collisions and ensure road safety. While pedestrians often have the right of way in crosswalks and at intersections, they must also adhere to traffic signals and exercise caution. On the other hand, drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in designated areas and exercise vigilance to avoid collisions.
If you or someone you love has been injured or lost their life in a vehicle-pedestrian collision caused by negligence, contact our skilled Georgia personal injury lawyers and support team at Ashby Thelen Lowry today at (404) 777-7771 to schedule a free consultation so we can tell your story and ensure your voice is heard by pursuing the best outcome for your unique case.