Do Pedestrians Have the Right-of-Way in the State of California?
October 05, 2021

Do Pedestrians Have the Right-of-Way in the State of California?

Everyone has various modes of transportation available to them, but everyone has walked on the street at some time in their life. As a conscientious citizen, parent, or caregiver, you want to do all you can to guarantee that you, your family, and your neighbors may walk about your neighborhood in peace and safety.

The pedestrian laws you must follow in California are the rules that govern when and where people are allowed to walk in public legally. The basic principle is present in Vehicle Code 21950, which requires cars to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the road in any designated or unmarked crosswalk, regardless of whether the crosswalk is marked or not.

Pedestrian Safety Tips to Help You Avoid a Pedestrian Accident

  • Before crossing the street, remember to check both ways for traffic. Left-right-left is often the order wherein you want to look down the road while you drive.
  • When you see individuals attempting to cross a highway, whether at an intersection or in a marked crosswalk, you should slow down and come to a complete stop. Take precautions rather than taking a chance, even if there isn't a traffic light or a stop sign in sight.
  • Avoid texting or holding phone conversations while walking on the street or the highway since these behaviors may affect your ability to focus on your surroundings and result in an accident.
  • Allow adequate time for pedestrians, particularly the elderly, the disabled, and young children, to cross a road entirely before proceeding. Wait until they have completed their journey across the street without rolling into the crossing intersection.
  • When reversing up your vehicle, be careful since individuals may accidentally cross your route without realizing they have done so.
  • You should make eye contact with any pedestrians attempting to cross a crosswalk and indicate that you are aware of their presence so that they are conscious of your presence.

Is it always the case that pedestrians have the right of way in California?

There is a common misunderstanding that pedestrians in California always have the right of way; however, this is more of a catchphrase than a legal requirement. According to California vehicle code, automobiles must yield the right-of-way to any person crossing the in any set or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. According to the law, a pedestrian must also not leave a curb, sidewalk, or another safe place suddenly enough to put himself or others at imminent risk. Pedestrians have the right of way at most crossings, including crosswalks that are both marked and unmarked.

California's Pedestrian Crosswalk Regulations

According to California law, a crosswalk is hat portion of a highway included in the elongation or connecting of the boundary lines of walkways at intersections where the intersecting roads meet at approximately sharp angles," or "that portion of a highway included in the elongation or connecting of the boundary lines of walkways at crossing points where the connecting roadways meet at approximately right angles."

When it comes to pedestrian accidents, it may use violations of California's pedestrian and crossing laws to establish recklessness per se. The majority of the time, when someone violates a traffic regulation, they are held liable for the subsequent car collision.