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Pennsylvania’s right-of-way rules for pedestrians

Pennsylvania residents who like to walk should know about the rules regarding the right-of-way, or the right to step out before a vehicle. Generally, pedestrians do have the right-of-way whenever there are no traffic signals in place. If the signals are not in operation, the same rule holds. Pedestrians must, of course, use a marked crosswalk or an unmarked one at an intersection; otherwise, the rule will not apply.

Pedestrians are supposed to exercise care and not walk or run into the path of a vehicle when that vehicle is so close as to constitute a safety hazard. Rather, pedestrians must stay on the curb or another place of safety.

If a driver has stopped for a pedestrian at an intersection or marked crosswalk outside of an intersection, other drivers coming up from behind the vehicle are forbidden from passing. The reason for this, naturally, is that pedestrians are still likely crossing at that time. The rules state that drivers who do not yield the right-of-way to pedestrians will if convicted, pay a $50 fine.

Besides committing a summary offense, drivers who do not stop for pedestrians may wind up causing physical harm. Car accidents that involve pedestrians almost never turn out well for those on foot, many lead to catastrophic or even fatal injuries. Those who have survived and who were clearly following the traffic laws may be able to seek compensation for their injuries.

Though Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, not all accident victims will have their losses covered by their PIP insurance. Victims may want a lawyer to assess their situation and see if a third-party insurance claim is possible. The lawyer can assist with the filing, the gathering of evidence and negotiating a settlement.