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Yielding to Pedestrians at Crosswalks

Posted on in Car Accidents

Yielding to Pedestrians at Crosswalks

When it comes to vehicles versus pedestrians in roadways, some pedestrians behave as if they have the right-of-way in all situations. It is true that a driver must attempt to avoid hitting a pedestrian, even if the pedestrian is being reckless. The pedestrian is at greater risk than the driver during potential collisions. If the pedestrian is a child or a person who is clearly confused, the driver’s responsibility becomes greater. However, Illinois law dictates situations where a vehicle has the right-of-way over a pedestrian. A pedestrian who violates the law may receive a fine. More importantly, the pedestrian’s negligence may prevent him or her from collecting personal injury damages from the driver. Most people understand the basics of pedestrian right-of-way laws, but there is a commonly misunderstood situation involving crosswalks.

Intersection Crossings

Many intersections will clearly show when and where a pedestrian may cross a street by using traffic control signals, traffic signs and marked walking areas. Pedestrians must obey traffic control signals that direct them when they can cross an intersection. In absence of those signals, they are allowed to cross when:

  • The traffic light is green in the direction they are heading; or
  • It is their turn at an intersection with multiple stop signs.

The pedestrian also must stay within the marked crossing area. If the path is not physically outlined, it is assumed that the pedestrian path is a continuation of the sidewalk.

Non-Intersection Crosswalks

When not at an intersection, pedestrians do not have the right-of-way when crossing a street unless there is a designated crosswalk. A crosswalk is marked with lines for where the pedestrian may walk and, in some cases, caution signs for the drivers. However, many drivers and pedestrians misunderstand when the pedestrian has the right-of-way. A vehicle must stop when a pedestrian:

  • Is in the crosswalk on the vehicle’s side of the road; or
  • Is imminently approaching the vehicle\'s side of the road in the crosswalk.

A vehicle is not required to yield when a pedestrian is waiting at the curb to use the crosswalk. A pedestrian is not allowed to walk into the path of an oncoming vehicle, even where there is a crosswalk.

Accident Liability

Many drivers choose to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks when they are not required to, rather than risk hitting the pedestrians. Illinois law protects drivers from civil liabilities if a pedestrian’s negligence caused an accident. With Illinois’ comparative fault law, a pedestrian who is more than 50 percent at fault for an accident will not receive any personal injury damages. A McHenry County personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you determine if you are entitled to damages after being hit by a vehicle. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

Source: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=062500050HCh%2E+11+Art%2E+X&ActID=1815&ChapterID=49&SeqStart=123600000&SeqEnd=125200000

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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