Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right-of-Way?

Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right-of-Way?

Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right-of-Way?

Navigating the bustling streets of Chicago, whether as a pedestrian or a driver, requires an understanding of traffic laws and a high degree of vigilance. At Saks, Robinson & Rittenberg, Ltd., we recognize the critical importance of pedestrian safety and the complexities surrounding the right-of-way. If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, it’s essential to seek experienced legal assistance to navigate the aftermath and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Understanding Right-of-Way

The question of whether pedestrians always have the right-of-way is multifaceted. Traditionally, pedestrians are granted the right-of-way in many scenarios, underscoring the principle that those on foot are inherently more vulnerable than those shielded by a vehicle. However, the reality is that both pedestrians and drivers share responsibilities for safety on the road.

When Do Pedestrians Have the Right-of-Way?

Pedestrians typically have the right-of-way at marked crosswalks and intersections, even more so when traffic signals or signs explicitly grant them passage. For example, when a “Walk” signal illuminates, pedestrians are given the green light to proceed, with the expectation that vehicles will yield accordingly. This also applies to unmarked crosswalks at intersections, where pedestrians have the implied right to cross, emphasizing the duty of drivers to exercise caution and yield.

Exceptions to the Rule

However, pedestrians do not always hold the right-of-way. There are situations where pedestrians must yield to vehicular traffic. Jaywalking, or crossing the street outside of designated crosswalks, is a common example where pedestrians forfeit their right-of-way. Similarly, crossing against a traffic signal (“Do Not Walk”) places the pedestrian at fault, should an incident occur. It’s crucial for both pedestrians and drivers to understand these nuances to prevent accidents and ensure mutual safety.

The Role of Driver Responsibility

A significant proportion of pedestrian accidents stem from driver negligence. Speeding, disobeying traffic signals, distracted driving and failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks are just a few examples of how drivers breach their duty of care. The consequences of such negligence can be dire, often leading to severe injuries or fatalities among pedestrians. It is imperative that drivers understand and respect their responsibilities to safeguard pedestrian safety.

Navigating the Aftermath of an Accident

In the unfortunate event of a pedestrian-vehicle accident, determining who had the right-of-way is pivotal for legal claims. Evidence, including police reports, eyewitness accounts and photos or videos of the scene, becomes invaluable in establishing fault and pursuing compensation. Whether you’re a pedestrian who was struck while lawfully crossing the street or a driver involved in an accident, gathering comprehensive evidence is crucial for a successful legal outcome.

If you’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident, it’s essential to act swiftly. There is a limited window to bring a negligence claim against the responsible party, and our team is here to guide you through every step.

Discuss Your Situation With a Chicago Pedestrian Accident Attorney

While pedestrians often have the right-of-way, there are exceptions and shared responsibilities on the roads of Chicago. Understanding these rules is key to preventing accidents and ensuring the safety of all. In the wake of a pedestrian accident, the assistance of seasoned personal injury attorneys like those at Saks, Robinson & Rittenberg, Ltd. becomes invaluable. Contact us today to explore your legal options and secure the support you need during this challenging time.

If you have been injured in a personal injury or work-related accident, do not hesitate to contact our office at (312) 332-5400

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