Pedestrian FAQs

What is the definition of a pedestrian?

The definition of a pedestrian is a person walking along a road or in a developed area.  Usually pedestrians are classified in relation to other vehicles. Per Utah Code, pedestrians are only suppose to cross at crosswalks.  This however can change if there is no walkway, tunnel, or other crosswalk 700 feet away from where the individual wishes to cross.

Do crosswalks exist at intersections?

All intersections are considered appropriate places for pedestrians to cross unless the roadway is too busy or has too high of speeds.  In these cases, the state usually provides the pedestrian with some type of bridge or skywalk they can utilize.

When do cars yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian?

If you are crossing in a crosswalk, the car automatically yields the right-of-way to you especially if it is in the confines of the zebra lines. Because the car is so much bigger than the pedestrian, they will almost always yield the right-of-way; however, this is not to betaken advantage of by the pedestrian assuming they can cross anytime.

If you are on a sidewalk as a pedestrian, how aware do you need to be?

Depending on the street and the time of the day, the passing cars could be quite congested. If this is the case, you as the pedestrian need to be very aware of your surroundings in case you experience a distracted driver.  Be sure to use your senses such as sound and sight to know what is going on around you so if a car does swerve, you are not implicated.

Do you as the pedestrian have to use sidewalks?

If there is a sidewalk provided you must utilize that sidewalk per Utah code and not walk along or in the road. If there is no sidewalk provided pedestrians should walk to the left of the road so cars can see them.

If you see a car can the car see you?

The best option to assume is that the car cannot always see you.  Blind spots, distractions, and even signals could potentially keep the driver from seeing you on the sidewalk or crossing the road, even if it is in a marked intersection. Before crossing make eye-contact with the driver to solidify that you both see each other.

Do signals also apply to pedestrians?

Signals do apply to both the driver and the pedestrian.  Crosswalk lights and signs validate when a pedestrian may cross and when they should not.  However, all signals do not justify or replace common sense for it should simply be more of an add on to making good decisions.  If the signals are advising you as the pedestrian to not cross, then you should not cross!

Do pedestrians have to stop at railroad crossings?

Pedestrians may not cross if the railroad signals are down. They must not cross under signs and other barriers which help protect them from being hit. If you have been injured as a pedestrian due to another vehicle’s negligence, please call Christensen & Hymas today for a free consultation. We can give you the valuable advice you need so you do not experience extreme financial loss. Read our “Pedestrian Accidents” article for further reading.

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