Crosswalks are some of the most important signals on a roadway since they influence both cars and pedestrians. There are many different laws surrounding crosswalks and it is good to orient yourself, both as a pedestrian and as a driver so that everyone is safe on the roadways. Usually, crosswalks are displayed by a couple different signals such as lights, sounds, flags, and even painted lines. The following is a guide for both pedestrians and drivers to follow concerning crosswalk safety.
Pedestrians utilize crosswalks when they cross a street or an intersection. To ensure safety, it is a good idea to be alert when crossing the street, even if it is the pedestrian’s turn. The following is a list of items pedestrians should be aware of when they are utilizing a crosswalk.
Signals alert the pedestrian of when to walk and when to not. These signals can sometimes be a hand, or an icon of a person walking. In most cases, the hand will blink to inform pedestrians of when they should not walk. Depending on the crosswalk, there might also be a countdown timer, informing the walker of how much time they have to walk. though signals are helpful, they should never replace a pedestrian’s judgement at a crosswalk. Additionally, the crosswalk may have types of brightly colored flags or flashing lights for the pedestrian to interact with to alert oncoming automobiles.
There are a couple different types of road lines which can signify a crosswalk. Zebra stripes, or vertical stripes on a road indicate a crosswalk that is not at an intersection. These are typically used around schools and within neighborhoods. Straight lines indicate a crosswalk at an intersection. Pedestrians should try to stick to walking within these lines so they are not hit by another car.
Vehicles also need to be aware of crosswalks so they do not hit any pedestrians who are walking within them. In general, you must always yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, especially if there is a crosswalk. The following is information you should be aware of as the drive in consideration to crosswalks.
Cars must yield to pedestrians in all situations, even when they are jaywalking. Cars obviously must yield when there are people crossing the road, however, they must also be aware of lights and flags especially at night. Flags are used usually around hills or hard to see turns that cars are pursuing, which are meant to help alert the vehicle to the pedestrian. Additionally, sometimes flashing lights will turn on and turn off, which additionally need to be treated as a stop light. It is important to note, that just if you make eye contact with the pedestrian, they still do not have to yield the right-of-way to you, and you should not assume they will!
Due to their sheer size, cars need to be more cautious when they approach any stop sign or signal so they do not injure or cause harm to the pedestrian in anyway. The best way to accomplish this task is by staying within all of the lines and by being an alert driver. Remember that crosswalks are utilized to benefit the pedestrian, not you in the vehicle.
If you have been injured in a Utah crosswalk due to someone else’s negligence; please do not hesitate to give us a call at Christensen & Hymas. We offer free confidential consultations that can help you get in the direction you need to go. Call us today at 801-506-0800.
Read our “Pedestrian Accidents” article for further reading.
Image “Corner crosswalks with no curb ramps or anything” copyright by Eric Fischer.
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