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What Rights Do Pedestrians Have?


It is important to know your rights and duties as a pedestrian. Whether you're crossing the street at a designated crosswalk or taking an afternoon stroll in your neighborhood, understanding the laws surrounding pedestrians will ensure that both motorists and pedestrians remain safe on roads.

The Ohio Legislative Service Commission outlines pedestrian rights in section 4511.46 and 4511.48. A summary of the regulations include:

  • When traffic control signals are not in place, not in operation, or are not clearly assigning the right-of-way, the driver of a vehicle must yield to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is halfway across or could be put in danger by the vehicle driver.
  • If a vehicle is stopped at a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to allow a pedestrian to cross, the driver of the vehicle approaching from behind cannot overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.
  • A pedestrian should not suddenly leave the curb or walk/run into the path of a vehicle.
  • Every pedestrian crossing the road other than within a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection must yield to the right of way to vehicles.
  • Pedestrians must yield to traffic if crossing a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided.
  • In intersections with operating traffic signals, pedestrians should only cross in the marked crosswalk.
  • Pedestrians should not cross diagonally at road intersections unless authorized by official traffic control devices.

From these regulations, pedestrians have the right of way within crosswalks. However, they are responsible for being careful by yielding to cars when necessary and avoiding abruptly entering a vehicle driver’s path.

If an accident occurs due to a vehicle driver’s failure to operate their vehicle in accordance with road laws and regulations, they may be held responsible for the collision. Examples of these types of accidents may include:

  • Failure to yield and give pedestrians the right of way
  • Distracted drivers
  • Intoxicated drivers

However, in some cases multiple parties could be at fault in a pedestrian accident. In certain scenarios the car manufacturer may be to blame if the car was defected. If road maintenance led to the accident, the agency involved in maintaining roads may be held accountable.

7 Pedestrian Safety Tips

Practicing pedestrian safety while you walk around your city is important to minimize accidents and potential harm or fatal injury to yourself. Be sure to follow the steps below while you walk to keep yourself safe.

  1. Obey signs and signals on the road
  2. Walk on sidewalks when available
  3. Use crosswalks at intersections and look for oncoming cars in all directions
  4. Avoid alcohol and drug usage before walking as they can impair your judgement
  5. Do not assume traffic will stop for you
  6. Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing
  7. Wear reflective clothing at night to be visible to drivers

Ultimately, staying aware of your surroundings and adhering to laws will be in your best interest. Even when accidents occur, you may avoid the likelihood of being held responsible if you were abiding laws and exercising reasonable care while traveling.

When a Pedestrian Accident Occurs

Despite following laws and remaining aware of your surroundings, accidents can happen. Pedestrians hit by cars could sustain severe injuries resulting in medical bills, lost wages from time off, pain and suffering, mental damage, and much more.

If you were involved in an accident, you may be able to recover compensation from the individual(s) responsible for the accident. Contact our attorneys at Bridges, Jillisky, Streng, Weller & Gullifer, LLC to represent you and fight for the compensation you deserve. Our personal injury lawyers are proud to provide personal legal service to our clients as we help them pursue favorable outcomes.

Reach out to us today at (937) 403-9033 or contact us online for a free consultation.