Georgia’s crosswalk laws cover:
- Crossing intersections
- Drivers’ responsibilities
- Pedestrians’ responsibilities
What Are Right-of-Way Laws?
Right-of-way laws determine who must yield to whom when entering roadways, making turns, changing lanes, and crossing intersections in and out of crosswalks. Right-of-way differs depending on where the driver or pedestrian is located. It also depends on the circumstances in which a person or driver enters an intersection.
One thing to note is that Georgia’s right-of-way laws do not state who has the right-of-way. Rather, they state who is required to yield the right-of-way in certain instances. For example, a driver must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian who is inside a crosswalk.
What Are Georgia’s Rules for Crossing Intersections?
Pedestrians must cross intersections at a crosswalk. While most people consider a crosswalk as the pathway across the intersection denoted with white lines (i.e., a marked crosswalk), it is important to note that there are both marked and unmarked crosswalks.
An unmarked crosswalk is the line between one side of the roadway and the other. The only way this differs from a marked crosswalk is that there are no distinguishing marks.
If a pedestrian is in either a marked or unmarked crosswalk, he has the right-of-way. Drivers must yield to pedestrians already inside these crosswalks, regardless of whether the driver has a green light or not.
What Responsibilities Do Drivers Have?
According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, motorists must stop and stay stopped for pedestrians at crosswalks. Drivers must stay put until the pedestrian has vacated the driver’s side of the road.
Georgia law also holds that a driver cannot overtake another motorist who has stopped for a pedestrian.
What Responsibilities Do Pedestrians Have?
Pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to drivers outside of crosswalks. While you can cross the street outside of a crosswalk, you must wait until traffic has cleared. If a pedestrian is hit outside a crosswalk, he might be liable for any injuries he sustains.
While pedestrians do have the right-of-way in crosswalks, Georgia’s crosswalk laws dictate that “no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield.”
If you step into a crosswalk in front of oncoming traffic and suffer injuries in an accident, you might be liable for your own injuries.
When Can I File an Injury Claim as a Pedestrian?
This depends on the circumstances of the accident. Consider the following examples:
- You were crossing at a marked crosswalk. A driver with a straight green light turns right and hits you. Is he at-fault? Most likely, yes. Even though the driver had a green light, he needed to wait for you to get to the median or to the other side of the road before turning.
- You were crossing at a marked crosswalk. Oncoming traffic has a green light. A driver is unable to stop in time and hits you. Who is at-fault? In this case, you are liable for the accident because you did not yield right-of-way to the driver.
In many cases, both the driver and pedestrian share fault. This can occur when:
- The pedestrian crossed outside a crosswalk, but the driver (who had time to stop) was not paying attention and hit the pedestrian.
- A pedestrian and driver enter a crosswalk at the same time.
If you are partially liable for your injuries, you will only be able to recover a portion of your demand.
Get Help from a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Atlanta
Like most personal injury cases, the damages you can collect hinge on proving fault and the extent of your injuries. If you were a pedestrian involved in an Atlanta accident recently, do not hesitate to contact pedestrian accident attorney Sheryl Burke.
Sheryl has litigated on behalf of Atlanta’s residents for over 20 years. Sheryl and her staff at S. Burke Law have just one goal when representing personal injury victims: collecting the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
Contact us today at 404-842-7838 for more information. Our consultations do not cost anything, so you can get answers to your questions risk-free.