Even when walking a short distance, it is important for all pedestrians to be aware in order to stay as safe as possible. This awareness extends beyond being conscious of one’s personal surroundings, as pedestrians should also be conscientious of their rights and the laws they must follow on roadways.

Being knowledgeable and careful can help to reduce the likelihood of pedestrian-related car crashes.

When pedestrians have the right of way

One thing that people will sometimes say is that cars always need to yield to pedestrians, but how true is this claim? The truth is that when crossing at a designated crosswalk where they have the signal to walk, pedestrians do have the right of way. However, pedestrians are the ones who need to yield to motorists when they are crossing at any other spot.

How to interpret crossing signals

When people prepare to go across a crosswalk, they will see either a red or orange signal that indicates they should not enter the crosswalk, or they will see a green or white signal that means it is safe to cross. Pedestrians who are already in the middle of the road when the signal changes should continue crossing as quickly as possible. Staying in the road or turning around could pose a risk of serious injury. Pedestrians who have not started crossing yet when the signal indicates they should not cross should stay put until the signal changes.

What side of the road to walk on

When pedestrians on a wheelchair or on foot need to proceed along a road or highway and there is no sidewalk available, it is a class C misdemeanor to walk anywhere other than on the left edge of the road. The only exception is if it is reasonably necessary to walk on the right side, for example, if there are obstructions on the left side to the degree that walking on the left would put someone in the way of oncoming traffic.