Two children and two women were struck by a vehicle in Parkside recently. All four were transported to the hospital where one woman was listed in critical condition. The driver remained at the accident scene but no charges are expected to be filed. Even though Pennsylvania has traffic laws defining pedestrian rights-of-way, 166 people were killed in 4,001 vehicle crashes involving pedestrians during 2014.
What Do Pennsylvania Traffic Laws State About Pedestrian Rights-of-Way?
While pedestrians do have the right of way most of the time in Pennsylvania, there are exceptions to the general rule. In order to avoid pedestrian accidents, it is important for drivers and pedestrians to understand who has the right of way in specific situations.
Pennsylvania right of way laws provide that pedestrians have the right of way whenever they are in a crosswalk or at an intersection not controlled or managed by traffic signals or traffic lights. If you are approaching an intersection without traffic controls, pedestrians have the right of way in Pennsylvania. Pedestrians also have the right of way if they are on a sidewalk that crosses a road, driveway, alleyway, or other area accessible by vehicles. When law enforcement officers are present, pedestrians must follow all instructions issued by the officers.
Pedestrians Have Rules Too
In addition to giving pedestrians the right of way in the above situations, Pennsylvania's traffic laws prohibit pedestrians from some actions. Pedestrians cannot cross an intersection diagonally or cross outside of a designated crosswalk. Pedestrians must use sidewalks or the shoulder of a road. If there is no sidewalk or shoulder, the pedestrian must walk on the left side of the road only and as far away from the road as possible.
When Do Drivers Have the Right of Way?
There are situations where the driver has the right of way and pedestrians must yield the right of way. Drivers have the right of way when pedestrians are not in a crosswalk or at an intersection. Pedestrians who choose to cross a road instead of using a pedestrian tunnel or overhead walkway must yield the right of way to traffic.
Even With The Right Of Way, Drivers Need To Be Careful
Even though a driver may have the right of way, the drive is responsible for using caution when approaching areas where people may be crossing the road. Drivers should not allow distractions to remove their focus from the road in front of them. Distracted driving and speeding are two of the most common reasons for pedestrian accidents. By keeping the focus on the road, drivers may be able to reduce the number of people killed and injured in pedestrian accidents.
Help For Victims of Pedestrian Accidents in Pennsylvania
Have you or a loved one been injured in a pedestrian accident in York, Lancaster, Lebanon, Harrisburg, or the surrounding communities? If so, contact Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLP to schedule a free consultation.
Even though you may believe you were partially at fault if you were in violation of Pennsylvania pedestrian laws, it is always best to consult with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries depending on the facts of your case. We want to help you receive the compensation you are entitled to receive under Pennsylvania personal injury laws.