What you’ll learn reading this article:
- Pedestrians have rights, just like others on the road.
- Kentucky’s comparative fault rule means a pedestrian and vehicle driver might share the blame.
- After a pedestrian accident, a Nelson County lawyer can help you make your case.
In Kentucky, we have a variety of laws that impact how pedestrians interact with vehicles. If you don’t know these laws, you could make an error in judgment that destroys you financially or even ends someone’s life.
Although our laws are intended to keep everyone safe, they also keep everyone a bit confused. You might be wondering: When do pedestrians have the right of way? Does it matter if they use a crosswalk? If a car hits a pedestrian, is the vehicle driver automatically at fault?
Learn These Rules of the Road Related to Pedestrians
To add some clarity, let’s take a closer look at what the law says. Here are some of the most important rules that apply to pedestrians and vehicles.
First, of all, crosswalks and street markings make a huge difference in determining how pedestrians and drivers should interact. By law, pedestrians must obey traffic control devices, use sidewalks and crosswalks when provided, and yield the right of way to vehicles whenever the pedestrian is moving outside crosswalks.
Pedestrians are required to use sidewalks if they are available, instead of walking in the roadway. Pedestrians should also stay on the right side of the sidewalk to allow foot traffic to flow both directions. Vehicles must yield to pedestrians who are on sidewalks.
The law says pedestrians cannot “suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.” Still, pedestrians sometimes step out in front of drivers unexpectedly. If they do so, all vehicle drivers must stop or yield to a pedestrian who is already in the roadway.
Although pedestrians generally must yield to vehicles when crossing roads in places other than designated crossing areas, vehicle drivers are not permitted to speed up and interfere with pedestrians’ movement or injure any pedestrian they are aware of. Drivers are forbidden from engaging in behavior that creates dangers for pedestrians.
As a driver, make sure you give pedestrians a chance to cross safely, even if they are moving very slowly. The law says that when a crosswalk or traffic signal is present and permits a pedestrian to cross, drivers must allow space and time for them to cross the street.
What Happens if You Hit a Pedestrian?
Imagine driving down Third Street in Bardstown or W. Main Street in Springfield and colliding with a pedestrian as they exit a restaurant and dart out into the street. Now what? Who’s at fault?
A pedestrian-vehicle accident is one of the most devastating things that can happen on the road. Pedestrians have a high likelihood of being killed by cars. A human body is simply no match for a vehicle.
While Kentucky forbids pedestrians from stepping into the roadway anywhere other than a crosswalk, it also forbids a driver from hitting someone in the road. It seems like a conflict but it comes down to comparative fault. Kentucky is a comparative fault jurisdiction, which means a jury can divide liability proportionately according to the percentage of fault held by each person.
If you hit a pedestrian, it means you could both share some proportion of the blame. It depends on the circumstances of the accident, including whether each of you followed the rules of the road. Even if you are partially at fault, you’re still allowed to file a personal injury lawsuit and hold the other person responsible for any compensation they may owe you.
At this critical moment in your life, you’ll need an experienced Central Kentucky attorney who can help you establish the facts of the case and present a strong case for your side. Pedestrian accidents are extremely difficult cases, so make sure you find excellent legal representation.
Trust McCoy & Sparks – Premier Personal Injury Attorneys in Nelson County
Recognized as Nelson County’s best law firm for over a decade and counting, McCoy & Sparks works to help people in trouble, representing thousands of clients in Central Kentucky with a focus on providing premium service and delivering superior results. Regardless of the type of case, our goal is to develop a strategy that best serves your personal needs, then draw upon our courtroom skills to help you reach the best possible result. We start by getting to know you. Next, we will explain all your options, giving you the pros and cons of each choice so that you will be empowered to make informed decisions. You owe us nothing unless we recover compensation for you. Make the right call to 1- (844) 4KY-WINS for a risk-free consultation with one of our attorneys today.