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When do you have the right of way as a pedestrian?

Walking is a great form of exercise, and it can help accomplish goals. Not only does walking help reach health goals, but it can also help you get to an intended destination. Maybe rather than hopping in your car to run errands, you choose to put on your sneakers and hit the sidewalk. This may not be a daily occurrence, but every once in a while, walking can be a useful way to get where you need to go.

Unfortunately, walking can present dangers, especially when you must walk near a road or cross a street. Numerous pedestrian accidents leave individuals with serious or fatal injuries every year. As a result, you certainly want to watch out for vehicles while out on your walks. But will drivers watch out for you?

Know your right-of-way

As a pedestrian, you may think you always have the right of way, but that is not necessarily the case. For example, you should not attempt to cross a road when a traffic signal says, “don’t walk” or shows a red hand. However, under Illinois law, drivers must yield to you under the following conditions:

  • If you enter an intersection with a flashing yellow turn arrow
  • If you are in a marked crosswalk
  • If you are not in a marked crosswalk but are on the driver’s side of the road with no traffic signals
  • If the driver comes to a stop sign or flashing red traffic light
  • If you are coming onto a street or leaving a street from a building, driveway, alley or private road
  • If the driver is making a lawful turn on red after coming to a stop
  • If the driver is making a turn at an intersection
  • If you enter a crosswalk before the traffic light changes

Other conditions may also apply to when a driver must yield to you as a pedestrian and stop so that you may cross safely.

What if a driver does not yield?

Unfortunately, many drivers do not pay close enough attention or watch for pedestrians in many of the aforementioned scenarios. They may also think that they have the right of way when they do not. As a result, pedestrian accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, even if the pedestrian follows the rules.

If you find yourself seriously injured due to a negligent or reckless driver, you may have reason to pursue monetary compensation for damages stemming from the incident. Looking into your personal injury claim options may be wise.