Pedestrians vs Cars: Who Is At Fault?

With more and more people out and about these days, accidents are bound to happen between cars and pedestrians. In a battle between a person and a moving vehicle, there is no question that the machine will win. That is why pedestrians have rights. Often pedestrian accidents occur when a driver is not paying attention to the roadway or is intoxicated. Georgia has several laws in place to protect pedestrians. Many of these give pedestrians the right of way.

  • 40-6-91 – Right of way in the crosswalk

(a) The driver of a vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching and is within one lane of the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For the purposes of this subsection, “half of the roadway” means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel. 

(b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield. 

(c) Subsection (a) of this Code section shall not apply under the conditions stated in subsection (b) of Code Section 40-6-92. 

(d) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle. 

  • 40-6-92. Crossing roadway elsewhere than at crosswalk

(a) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway unless he has already, and under safe conditions, entered the roadway. 

(b) Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway if he uses the roadway instead of such tunnel or crossing. 

(c) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation, pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk. 

(d) No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices. When authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic-control devices pertaining to such crossing movements. 

  • 40-6-22. Pedestrian control signals

Whenever special pedestrian-control signals exhibiting the words WALK or DON’T WALK or symbols so directing a pedestrian are in place, such signals shall indicate as follows: 

(1) Word or symbol message WALK — Pedestrians facing such signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal. Every driver of a vehicle shall stop and remain stopped for such pedestrians; and 

(2) Flashing or steady DON’T WALK — No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of such a signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed his crossing on the WALK signal shall proceed to sidewalk or safety island while the DON’T WALK signal is showing. 

  • 40-1-1.(10) Definition of a Crosswalk

“Crosswalk” means (A) That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway measured from the curbs or in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traversable roadway; or (B) Any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface. 

  • 40-6-144. Emerging from alley, driveway, or building

The driver of a vehicle emerging from an alley, building, private road, or driveway within a business or residential district shall stop such vehicle immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto the sidewalk area extending across such alley, building entrance, road, or driveway or, in the event there is no sidewalk area, shall stop at the point nearest the street to be entered where the driver has a view of approaching traffic thereon.  

The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian on a sidewalk. No person shall drive any vehicle upon a sidewalk or sidewalk area except upon a permanent or duly authorized driveway. 

For more information about injuries as a pedestrian and whether you should hire an attorney as a pedestrian, visit this article. If you have been injured in an accident as a pedestrian, or know someone who has been injured or killed as a pedestrian in an accident, contact our office. Ty has the experience to work with you as a compassionate legal partner to help you get the answers and solutions you deserve.