Accidents involving Pedestrians

By November 3, 2016Personal Injury

Accidents involving Pedestrians, who is at fault?

If you’re involved in a personal injury lawsuit or an injury-related insurance claim in Alabama, you should be aware of the legal rules that might apply to your case. This article provides an overview of key Alabama pedestrian laws.

On Crosswalks

The driver of a vehicle must stop and yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian approaching closely enough on crosswalk to constitute danger.

Section 32-5A-211

Restrictions on Pedestrians

No pedestrian is to suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

Section 32-5A-211

Pedestrian Control Signals

Whenever special pedestrian-control signals exhibiting the words or symbols “Walk” or “Don’t Walk” are in place such signals shall indicate as follows:

“WALK”. Pedestrians facing such a signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal and must be given the right of way by the drivers of all vehicles.

“DON’T WALK”. No pedestrian should start to cross the roadway in the direction of such signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed his or her crossing on the walk signal must proceed to a sidewalk or safety island while the “Don’t Walk” signal is showing.

“DON’T WALK” (flashing). No pedestrian should start to cross the roadway in the direction of such signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed his or her crossing on the walk signal must proceed to a sidewalk or safety island while the “Don’t Walk” signal is flashing.

Section 32-5A-33

Crossing at Other Than Crosswalks

Pedestrians intending to cross a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles on the roadway. In other words, when jaywalking, vehicles have the right of way.

Pedestrians must use only the marked crosswalk to cross between two adjacent intersections that have traffic-control signals in operation.

Pedestrians can cross an intersection diagonally only when it is authorized by traffic-control devices.

Section 32-5A-212

Pedestrians on Roadway

Where sidewalks are provided, it is unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon adjacent roadway.

Where sidewalks are not provided, pedestrians are permitted to walk only on or along the left side of the roadway or on it’s shoulder facing traffic from the opposite direction.

Section 32-5A-215

Pedestrians’ Right of Way on Sidewalks

The driver of a vehicle must yield the right of way to any pedestrian on a sidewalk.

Section 32-5A-218

Drivers to Exercise Due Care

The driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the driver’s horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child.

Section 32-5A-213

Pedestrians Under the Influence of Alcohol or Controlled Substance

A pedestrian who is a hazard due to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs must not walk or be upon a highway.

Section 32-5A-221

Safety Tips

Pedestrians are expected to follow certain rules of the road, including:

  • Pedestrians are to use sidewalks whenever they are safely available.
  • When sidewalks are unavailable, pedestrians must walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Pedestrians must obey traffic signals and/or traffic officers.
  • At crosswalks where there isn’t a traffic control signal or officer, pedestrians have the right-of-way.
  • If there aren’t any crosswalks, signs or signals, the pedestrian must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles.
  • Regardless of the right-of-way, the driver is required by law to take great care to avoid “hitting” pedestrians.

Walker Law Firm supports efforts to prevent pedestrian crashes, including Pedestrian enforcement efforts in targeted high risk areas that focus on both motorists and pedestrians.