Many traffic accidents involve pedestrians, causing injuries and even death. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that in 2020 alone, motor vehicle crashes killed one pedestrian every 75 minutes.
As a pedestrian, you should be conscious of the concept of right of way. Knowing what it is helps you understand your rights and how you can maximize your road safety.
What is right of way?
Simply put, right of way is the right to go on the road first. In New Jersey, pedestrians generally have the right of way at crosswalks and all intersections. This means that motorists should yield and stop during situations like the following:
- A pedestrian has the green “walk” signal.
- A pedestrian is crossing either a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
- A pedestrian is already within one lane of half of the roadway.
Furthermore, motorists should not overtake a vehicle that stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the road.
What are the limits of pedestrians’ right of way?
Road safety is a two-way street. Pedestrians are advised to use sidewalks when they are available. If there are no sidewalks, you should walk on the extreme left side of the road approaching traffic. Even in areas where you have the right of way, it is best to avoid crossing the road too close to a running vehicle that the driver has no time to stop.
Furthermore, you should yield to motorists in situations such as the following:
- The driver has the green “go” signal.
- You are crossing a road other than a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
If you receive an injury or your loved one died in an accident involving a driver who did not observe right-of-way guidelines, you might be able to secure appropriate compensation. A personal injury lawyer can help you build a solid case against the responsible parties and fight for your rights.