Traffic Laws for Pedestrians in Fort Worth
Auto-pedestrian accidents happen on a regular basis in Fort Worth and throughout the United States. In many cases, these accidents are the result of the negligence of a distracted driver. Data in Texas estimates that 11 percent of all Texas traffic accidents are pedestrian-related and account for nearly 350 deaths per year. An alarming 80 percent are caused by the direct actions of pedestrians, not the drivers of the vehicles that hit them. It is extremely important to diligently follow pedestrian safety laws to protect oneself.
Due to the prevalence of these types of accidents, Texas lawmakers established rules that govern how drivers and pedestrians should behave. An experienced attorney could explain the traffic laws for pedestrians in Fort Worth. Reach out to a knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney to discuss your rights.
The Rights of Pedestrians
Pedestrians have many rights under the law in Texas. For example, pedestrians in Texas always have the right of way over cars when crossing streets at traffic light intersections or intersections controlled by electronic pedestrian crossing signals. This means that all automobiles must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when there is a green traffic light or a walk sign. When an intersection is not controlled by a traffic light or walk sign, the driver must still yield to the pedestrian.
There are some laws that could confusing for drivers. Unmarked crosswalks present an interesting predicament for drivers when they assume they have the right-of-way, and the pedestrian must yield. This is simply not the case. Unfortunately, the confusion and misunderstanding leads to numerous car-pedestrian accidents in Fort Worth and throughout Texas.
Texas law states vehicles must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks whether, marked or unmarked. Vehicles must also stop for pedestrians when they approach cars on the roadway from the other side.
Other laws state that cars must yield when a pedestrian is approaching traffic from a sidewalk that crosses a driveway, private road, building, or alley. Also, when crossing the street of the crosswalk with traffic lights, pedestrians may only cross when facing a green light or when walk signals are present. Pedestrians are required by law to yield to vehicles when crossing anywhere other than marked or unmarked crosswalks.
How Do Traffic Laws Apply To Pedestrians?
Texas Transportation Code Section 552.005 (b) states that between adjacent intersections where traffic control signals are in operation, a pedestrian may cross only in a marked crosswalk. This means pedestrians are still free to cross the street when safe at any point between intersections when at least one of the two adjacent intersections is not controlled by a signal.
If most adjacent intersections are equipped with traffic lights, the pedestrian must cross at the intersection. While some drivers consider crossing between intersections as jaywalking, Texas law states otherwise.
What Is Contributory Negligence?
A pedestrian is responsible for following traffic and safety laws at all times because the regulations reduce the risk of an accident. Laws regarding pedestrians and drivers have a significant role in determining who is at fault for an accident. A violation of pedestrian traffic laws could be charged as a noncriminal traffic infraction, and the pedestrian may be ordered to pay a fine for the citation while civil penalties may cost only a few dollars.
A violation could cause the injured pedestrian thousands of dollars in lost damages in an injury case. The potential jury may see the citation as proof of fault in the accident, denying the pedestrian access to payment for their medical bills.
A pedestrian is expected to exercise their duty of care. If the accident occurs due to the recklessness of the pedestrian, they are held liable under the doctrine of contributory negligence. A pedestrian might be considered negligent if they walk along the road when it is dark, they are pushing or repairing a vehicle, or they cross or enter a highway. If an accident occurs and the pedestrian is involved in any of the mentioned situations, their negligence may be reduced.
Reach Out To a Skilled Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrian accidents are extremely dangerous and can cause severe injuries, damages, and even death. Motor vehicle drivers and pedestrians must abide by the rules of the road to prevent a collision. When a party fails to follow the rules of the road, they could cause a crash and be held liable for damages. Schedule a consultation today to learn about the traffic laws for pedestrians in Fort Worth.