Some drivers mistakenly think that they only have to yield the right of way to pedestrians in marked crosswalks, but that may not always be the case. This blog will explain the rights and duties of pedestrians and drivers in crosswalks in Arkansas. You can talk to a Little Rock pedestrian accident attorney about pedestrian accidents in marked vs. unmarked crosswalks.
What Is a Marked Crosswalk?
A marked crosswalk is one that has painted lines marking the boundaries of the crosswalk. Usually, these lines are applied to the surface of the street in white paint. Sometimes, a marked sidewalk will have an electronic signal synchronized with the traffic lights for the motor vehicles, letting walkers know when it is safe to cross. A marked crosswalk can appear at an intersection, in the middle of a block, or at another location.
An unmarked crosswalk is typically at the intersection of two streets. The unmarked crosswalk does not have any painted markings designating the boundaries of the safe space for pedestrians to cross. An unmarked crosswalk might or might not have an electronic “Walk/Do Not Walk” signal for pedestrians.
Arkansas Law on Crosswalks and Drivers
Cars are supposed to stop behind the boundaries of marked crosswalks to give pedestrians enough space to cross the street safely. Drivers should yield to pedestrians who are in both marked and unmarked crosswalks.
Even when the intersection does not have a stop sign, stop light, flashing lights, or a marked crosswalk, there might be an unmarked crosswalk. Drivers should slow down in areas where there are likely to be people on foot, like downtown areas, schools, college campuses, and residential areas.
Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way?
No, contrary to popular opinion, pedestrians do not always have the right of way. Walkers should not step in front of moving vehicles and expect them to come to a screeching stop to keep from hitting the pedestrian. Walkers should look both ways and be certain that they can cross the street safely and legally before stepping off of the sidewalk and onto the street.
Even when a pedestrian steps out into traffic without looking or waiting for traffic to clear, drivers must make a reasonable effort to avoid hitting the pedestrian. In a situation like this, if the driver does not attempt to slow down or stop, and there is a pedestrian accident, both the walker and the driver could be partly at fault.
Why Arkansas Law Serves to Protect Pedestrians
When a car collides with a pedestrian, the pedestrian usually suffers much more severe wounds than the person riding in the vehicle. Pedestrian accidents have a high rate of fatalities because walkers do not have the protection of a metal auto body to shield them from the physical impact of a motor vehicle.
Also, pedestrians often go airborne after getting struck by a car, causing a second injury when they land. And, pedestrians that have been struck are at risk of getting run over by another vehicle.
An Arkansas pedestrian accident lawyer could help you go after the money damages you deserve from the at-fault party in your pedestrian accident. You can reach out to us today for your free initial consultation.