Drivers need to be aware of Texas pedestrian laws in order to reduce the risk of accidents and injury, as well as to avoid legal ramifications and lessen potential liability.
Two common aspects of the law that come into play regarding pedestrians and drivers are right-of-way and exercising care. Far too many pedestrians are seriously injured with broken bones, head trauma, or even killed each year because they failed to abide by the simple rules of the road. Many devastating accidents can be avoided if people simply were to adhere to traffic laws and pay attention to their surroundings.
People often mistakenly assume that a pedestrian always has the right-of-way. This isn’t always true. Drivers have a legal duty to yield to pedestrians if the pedestrian is in the crosswalk, if there is no traffic control for crossing, or if the driver and pedestrian simultaneously emerge from an alley, building entrance, private road, or driveway.
However, according to the Texas Transportation Code (TTC) Sec. 552.005, drivers maintain the right-of-way when the pedestrian is crossing:
The remaining pedestrian laws that drivers must abide by should be common sense. It all boils to exercising care. TTC Sec. 552.008 says that drivers are to:
Pedestrians have numerous rules they have to follow as well. They have to cross only in certain designated sections, walk facing traffic if there isn’t a designated pedestrian footpath, and yield to drivers in certain situations.
The rules for both pedestrians and drivers are fairly simple and straightforward, but that doesn’t mean they are always observed. In many instances, drivers and pedestrians break the rules because they were distracted, such as texting or talking on the phone while walking or driving.
And unfortunately, the problem is getting worse. Science Daily reports that between 2005 and 2010, the number of pedestrians who were struck and killed by distracted drivers rose 50 percent.
When a pedestrian-motor vehicle accident occurs, if either party was in violation of traffic law, their infractions could deem them legally liable for damages in a negligence claim. With a traffic accident, all involved parties will be assigned a degree of fault for the accident. The rights to compensation for damages will be reduced according to each party’s degree of fault in an accident.
If you or a loved one was recently involved in a motor vehicle accident that involved a pedestrian, it’s important to speak to an attorney. Your lawyer can review the specifics of the case, determine who was at fault, and look into whether or not either party was in violation of any laws.