True or False: Do Massachusetts pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way?
Dartmouth, Massachusetts personal injury attorney, Andrew Garcia, debunks a common misconception about pedestrian rights in the roadways.
The Rules of the Road for Pedestrians
When there is a crosswalk controlling an intersection, pedestrians who are within the boundaries of the crosswalk DO have the right of way and motorists must yield to pedestrians.
However, when a pedestrian is trying to cross a roadway and there is no crosswalk, the pedestrian must yield to oncoming motorists. Drivers on the road, though, must always use caution approaching a pedestrian who isn’t in a crosswalk.
Pedestrian Safety Rules That Can Save Your Life
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (the “RMV”) has issued the following pedestrian safety rules that could save your life:
- State law requires you to use a crosswalk when one is available. If an intersection has a traffic signal, press the button and wait for the WALK signal. Intersections with no push buttons automatically give WALK signals. Be patient!
- Do not cross if the signal says DON’T WALK.
- Before you cross a roadway, stop at the curb, look left, look right, and look left again for traffic. Do this even on a one-way street. Be alert while crossing. Be especially alert at intersections that allow motor vehicles to turn right on red.
- If you must enter the street from between parked cars, stop and look before crossing.
- You must use a sidewalk when one is available. When no sidewalk is available, you should walk on the shoulder facing traffic.
- Never walk along or across expressways, interstate highways, or turnpikes.
- Wear clothing with bright colors or reflective strips, especially at night.
If You’ve Been Involved in a Pedestrian Accident
If you’re a pedestrian who’s been hit by a car or truck, be sure to get the medical attention you need.
Also, the evidence of how the accident happened will be crucial to your case. Get the names of witnesses who may have seen the accident. Take pictures and even video of the scene of the incident. Be sure to fill out a police report and to cooperate with any police investigation.
If you’d like your pedestrian accident case to be reviewed by a qualified personal injury lawyer, just contact us. Our evaluation is free.