Do Pedestrians Always Have The Right Of Way?

Pedestrians do have rights on the roadway. The law in Illinois and in most municipalities specifies what rights pedestrians have. It is imperative that drivers and pedestrians alike understand when a pedestrian has the right away and when they do not have the right of way. Right-of-way laws are crucial because they allow for an orderly flow of traffic, even for pedestrians. Here, we want to review when pedestrians have the right of way and when they do not so that you are armed with information that can help keep you safe on the roadways of Illinois.

do pedestrians always have the right of way?

Pedestrians and the Right of Way in Illinois

Pedestrians do have rights on the roadway. Drivers also have rights when it comes to using the roadway around pedestrians. To be sure, there are areas where pedestrians are going to always have the right of way.

In the state of Illinois, pedestrians have to abide by all traffic laws and traffic control devices. However, there are areas specifically set aside for pedestrian safety where individuals will have the right of way over vehicles. 

At a designated crosswalk that has working signals, pedestrians will have the right of way when they have a “walk” light that indicates they can cross. Drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in marked crosswalks. Additionally, drivers are not allowed to pass other vehicles already stopped at a marked pedestrian crosswalk.

At crosswalks where there are no signals in place or not in operation, drivers of vehicles are required to stop and yield the right of way to pedestrians wishing to cross. However, no pedestrian is allowed to leave a curb or other place with safety and walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

Whenever there are stop signs or signals in place at an intersection, drivers are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians in accordance with typical traffic laws.

Crossing at Areas Other Than Marked Crosswalks or Intersections

If a pedestrian is crossing at an area other than a crosswalk, then they are required to yield the right of way to all vehicles already on the roadway. Pedestrians should not leave a place of safety when there is a vehicle close enough to constitute a hazard. If a pedestrian does cross and an accident occurs, they could be held liable for the incident.

Even though pedestrians will not have the right of way in areas outside of marked crosswalks or intersections, drivers are required to exercise due care. Every driver of a vehicle is responsible for exercising caution around pedestrians to avoid collisions.

A Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver in Illinois, it is crucial that you work with a skilled attorney as soon as possible. A Chicago pedestrian attorney can conduct a complete investigation into your case and help recover the compensation you are entitled to. This can include coverage of your medical bills, lost income, property damage expenses, pain and suffering damages, and more. Data available from the Illinois Department of Transportation shows us that there were nearly 4,800 total pedestrian versus vehicle collisions across the state during the latest reporting year. Out of these incidents, there were 173 fatal crashes and over 4,500 injury crashes.