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Car accidents involving pedestrians take place all too frequently. Uneducated drivers may not realize that a pedestrian has the right of way, resulting in terrible consequences. The lack of knowledge on the subject creates a hazard for both pedestrians and automobiles.

If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. To better inform you of your rights, Attorney Jason Holladay reviews both pedestrian and motor vehicle right-of-way laws in Texas.


Pedestrian Right of Way Laws in Texas

According to the Texas Transportation Code, a pedestrian will have the right of way in the following circumstances:

  • At marked and unmarked crosswalks, if there is a green traffic signal in the direction the pedestrian is walking;
  • At a crosswalk, if no traffic signal is in place or working;
  • At a crosswalk, if the pedestrian is on the same half of the roadway as the vehicle;
  • At a crosswalk, if the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway to be in danger; 
  • Facing a “walk” signal proceeding across a roadway in the direction of the signal; and
  • On a sidewalk extending across an alley, building entrance or exit, road, or driveway. A vehicle that is emerging from or entering the alley, building, private road, or driveway must stop for the crossing pedestrian.

Motor vehicle operators must abide by the rules of the road to allow pedestrians to safely reach their destinations. A driver that is not familiar with the right of way laws is a liability behind the wheel.


Use of Sidewalks

A pedestrian must use a sidewalk if one is present. Sidewalks are designed to keep pedestrians and drivers separated.

If there is no sidewalk, then a pedestrian may walk on the left side of the roadway or on the shoulder of the highway facing oncoming traffic.

Does a Pedestrian Have the Right of Way?


Motor Vehicle Right of Way Laws in Texas

Pedestrians does not always have the right of way. There are circumstances in which the pedestrian must yield the right of way to a motor vehicle.

A pedestrian must yield the right of way to a motor vehicle when:

  • Facing a steady red or yellow traffic signal at an intersection;
  • Facing a “Don’t walk” or “Wait” signal if they have not begun to cross into the roadway;
  • Leaving a curb or other place of safety and crossing into the roadway, not leaving the motor vehicle operator time to yield; 
  • A pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided; and
  • Crossing the street outside of a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection


How Can Pedestrians Stay Safe?

Pedestrians can take measures to ensure their safety when on or near a roadway by:

  • Always using crosswalks
  • Always use sidewalks—if one is not available, walk against traffic, not with it
  • Making eye contact with others before crossing the street 
  • Looking left and right when getting off a bus
  • Not assuming that traffic will stop for them

Even taking all safety measures, a pedestrian may still be hit crossing the roadway. A pedestrian accident attorney will be able to assess your situation and determine how much your case is worth.  


Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney

To travel safely, both pedestrians and motor vehicle operators must know when to yield the right of way to one another. Many times, drivers do not give pedestrians the space they need while walking. 

If you have been in a pedestrian accident, you need an attorney who will do whatever it takes to win you the compensation you deserve. Contact Holladay Law Firm, PLLC, today to schedule your free consultation.


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