When Must Cars Yield the Right of Way to Pedestrians in Texas?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Joe Jones with Law Office of Bruce A. Ralston.
Every state has slightly different laws regarding pedestrian right of way. In Texas, the laws are similar to many other places in that pedestrians have right away in most scenarios, even when it may seem counterintuitive. Whenever driving near or around pedestrians, it is important to exercise extreme caution, both to protect the pedestrian and to protect yourself from liability.
Following right of way laws is vital to ensuring a safe environment for everyone on the road. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be eligible for compensation to cover damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and more. To learn more about options for recovery after a pedestrian accident, reach out to a pedestrian accident attorney.
Texas right of way laws regarding pedestrians include the following:
- Drivers must yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, regardless of whether the crosswalk is marked or not.
- Drivers must yield to pedestrians when they are in the same half of the roadway as the vehicle.
- Drivers must yield to pedestrians when they are approaching that half from the opposite side of the roadway.
- Drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing a driveway, private road, building, or alleyway.
- At a traffic light, pedestrians may only cross when facing a green light or other form of “walk” signal.
- Pedestrians must yield to vehicles when crossing somewhere other than a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
- Drivers must use their horn, honking to notify a pedestrian that they are in the way.
- Drivers must help children, elderly, and obviously confused pedestrians move to a safe location, and not expect them to understand right of way laws.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident due to a right of way violation, you can take the following steps:
- Call 9-1-1. It is important to call the police immediately upon witnessing or being directly involved in a pedestrian accident. Even if the accident seems minor, right of way accidents involving pedestrians are serious, and it is important for law enforcement to arrive and take the opportunity to gather evidence and information at the scene to piece together what happened. This also ensures that an official record exists regarding what happened.
- Seek medical care. It is extremely important to seek medical care as soon as possible after being involved in a right of way accident. Some injuries may not be felt for days or even weeks until after the accident, but waiting to seek medical care could hurt your case further down the road. This also ensures that an official medical record exists documenting the injury and incident.
- Collect the driver’s information. In any right of way accident, it is important to obtain the other driver’s information, including their name, insurance, and license plate number. If you are unable to do so due to your injuries, a family member, friend, or even an attorney can do so on your behalf.
- Collect evidence. If you are able, take a moment to collect photos, videos, and witness contact information and testimonies at the scene of the accident. All of this will help document exactly what happened so there is no argument later on. If your injuries are too severe to collect evidence on your own, a family member, friend, or attorney may do so on your behalf.
- File a police report and request a copy. When law enforcement arrives at the scene of the accident, be sure to describe the situation to them exactly as you experienced it. Even if you are unable to do so due to an injury at the time of the accident, make sure to file a report with the police department as soon as possible, and don’t forget to request a copy of the report for your records.
- Talk to a lawyer. Due to the size and weight discrepancy of the average vehicle and person, injuries in a pedestrian accident can be severe. Damages which may be compensable in a pedestrian accident claim may include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering just to name a few. A pedestrian accident attorney knows what kind of evidence to gather from the scene of the accident, as well as how to approach your case in the way that offers you the best chance of a financial recovery.
To learn more about Texas right of way laws, or if you have been injured in a right of way accident, seek legal counsel.