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When Could a Pedestrian Potentially be Liable for a Car Accident?

kids in crosswalk during dayPedestrians are often not the ones at fault for a crash with a car. However, there can be exceptions to this general rule.

Below, learn more about some of those exceptions, along with the obligations of pedestrians under Pennsylvania law.

Duty of Care for Drivers and Pedestrians

A duty of care is an obligation to take reasonable steps to help prevent someone else from suffering an injury. Pedestrians and drivers have various duties of care on the road.

Some of the duties a driver has include the duty to:

  • Follow posted speed limits
  • Not drive while distracted
  • Not drive while impaired or drowsy
  • Follow all traffic signals, stop signs, and yield signs
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks
  • Use a turn signal each time you make a turn
  • Take precautions given traffic and weather conditions

Pedestrians also have duties of care when crossing the street:

  • Use marked crosswalks
  • Follow the walk and do not walk signals at intersections
  • If there are no walk signals, follow the flow of the traffic lights
  • Do not dart out in between vehicles into traffic
  • Do not disrupt the flow of traffic
  • Make yourself visible to drivers

Pedestrian Laws in Pennsylvania

Title 75 of Pennsylvania statutes explains the duties drivers owe pedestrians and the duties pedestrians owe drivers when crossing the street.

Drivers must yield to pedestrians in marked or unmarked crosswalks at intersections when there are no traffic signals at the intersection. Vehicles trailing those stopped at a marked or unmarked crosswalk for a pedestrian cannot pass stopped vehicles.

Pedestrians are not allowed to step down off a curb or any other area where they are safe and run or walk in the path of an oncoming vehicle so close that an accident cannot be avoided. Pedestrians must use sidewalks when available.  

If the pedestrian is using a sidewalk that is shared by motor vehicles, such as a driveway parking lot, or alley, the pedestrian has the right of way. If there is no sidewalk, the pedestrian must utilize the shoulder and walk as far from moving traffic as possible.

Pedestrians must yield the right of way to emergency vehicles. However, drivers of emergency vehicles must operate their vehicles with reasonable care for the safety of pedestrians.

Safety Tips for Pedestrians

When possible, pedestrians should make eye contact with drivers when entering a crosswalk. It is also recommended that pedestrians refrain from wearing earbuds or headphones when crossing the street. That way they can hear vehicles approaching or honking their horns.

Injured in a Pedestrian Accident? Contact Schmidt Kramer Today

Have you suffered an injury in a pedestrian vs. motor vehicle accident?

It is in your best interest that you consult with an experienced Harrisburg auto accident lawyer about your case. The injuries suffered in such a traumatic accident can change your life forever.

You may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and loss of income. Our phone lines are open 24/7 to take your call and schedule a free initial consultation. (717) 888-8888