Are There Laws to Protect Pedestrians in Texas?

January 12, 2018

Drivers throughout the state of Texas will encounter many different situations that can put either themselves or others in danger. While large 18-wheelers pose an obvious physical danger to standard pedestrian cars, those same pedestrian cars can pose a great danger to bicyclists or pedestrians on the roadway.

It’s for that reason that there are laws governing the interactions between these two users of the road, but there are many that don’t fully understand who has the right of way in different circumstances.

This confusion can lead to accidents that are otherwise avoidable, which is why it is important that both drivers and pedestrians familiarize themselves with the laws meant to protect pedestrians in Texas.

Pedestrian Crossing the Road

The law grants pedestrians the right of way over vehicles when they are crossing the street at an intersection controlled by an electronic pedestrian crossing signal. If the pedestrian is facing a green traffic light or has a “Walk” sign present, then they have the right of way.

In the case of an intersection not controlled by a traffic signal, a vehicle must still yield to a pedestrian that is crossing a crosswalk.

A driver involved in a crosswalk accident that causes the death or a serious injury to an individual who is blind or visually impaired can be charged with a crime.

If a pedestrian attempts to cross the road at a point where no intersection or crosswalk is present, then they must yield the right of way to an oncoming vehicle. It’s important to note however, that the pedestrian’s failure to yield in these circumstances does not absolve a driver from responsibility if there is an accident.

Reasonable Care

Both drivers and pedestrians must ensure that they follow the rules of the road and also exercise reasonable care.

Some of the most common factors contributing to driver negligence include distracted driving, speeding, failure to yield the right of way, disobeying traffic signals, failure to use turn signals, driving under the influence, or disregarding weather or traffic conditions.

The law also imposes a high standard of reasonable care when it comes to children, and a driver must exercise a higher level of caution when passing through areas where small children may be playing or present, such as near schools, parks, or residential areas.

Pedestrians must also exercise a level of reasonable care to ensure their own safety when it comes to motorists. Comparative negligence may come into play if a pedestrian failed to exercise reasonable care and thus contributed to the cause of their injuries.

Some of the most common factors related to pedestrian negligence include ignoring the signals at an intersection controlled by traffic signals, entering traffic and disrupting the flow, darting in front of moving vehicles, or the failure to use marked crosswalks.

Pedestrian Accidents

Accidents between pedestrians and motor vehicles can cause serious injury, but establishing negligence in the event of an accident isn’t always clear cut. Regardless of whether you’re the driver or the pedestrian, if you’ve been involved in an accident, you should call the police to report the accident, don’t leave the scene of an accident before help arrives, and be sure to gather the names and phone numbers of any potential witnesses.

Your next step is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney with knowledge of pedestrian accidents, like the team at Fears Nachawati.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident between a motor vehicle and pedestrian, contact us today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation by calling (866) 705-7584 or by visiting one of our offices located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin.

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