In the state of Georgia, pedestrians have the right of way instead of cars when they are obeying the rules of the road. However, the state expects both the driver and the pedestrian to mind the rules of the road and do whatever is necessary to avoid a collision between the two. The pedestrian does not automatically have the right-of-way for being a pedestrian; he too must obey the rules of the road.
Rules For Vehicles
State law requires Georgia drivers to do everything possible to avoid causing injury to pedestrians who may be in the road. For instance, if a person is literally lying in the middle of the road, it is the duty of the driver of the oncoming car to see the person and swerve around them to avoid causing them injury.
Further, drivers are required to alert the person to the fact that a car is coming by blowing their horn. Drivers are expected to exercise caution upon seeing a child or person who may be confused, intoxicated, or physically unable to get out of harm’s way.
Pedestrians are required to use the sidewalks when available. If no sidewalk is available, then state law requires pedestrians to stick close to the shoulder of the road as far away from the road as possible, so long as the pedestrian is not putting himself in harm’s way.
Pedestrians are required to use crosswalks whenever available. If a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, then Georgia law requires all drivers to stop and allow the pedestrian to complete his crossing of the road before continuing to drive through the crosswalk. However, pedestrians should also not expect cars to simply stop just because they dart out into a crosswalk.
If there is no crosswalk, and the pedestrian must cross the road, then the law states that the pedestrian must yield to oncoming cars. That’s right – it is legal for a person to jaywalk in Georgia, so long as he yields to traffic. The only time he doesn’t have to yield is if he is already in the road and had entered the road under safe conditions (i.e. he made sure that no cars were around when he attempted to cross the road).
Pedestrian Control Devices
A pedestrian control device is a device that tells pedestrians when it is safe to cross the street. For instance, some light up to say “Cross” or “Don’t Cross.” Others show a lit-up red hand to symbolize “don’t walk” and a white, lit-up person to symbolize when it is safe to walk again.
Pedestrians are expected to heed these devices and cross the roadway only when it is safe to do so as indicated by the device. A person who chooses to cross when the device was set to “Don’t Cross” would be unable to sue for personal injury in the event he was hit by a car.
It is a good rule of thumb to always look both ways before crossing the road, no matter what the pedestrian control device says, no matter whether there is a crosswalk or a sidewalk. Nothing can substitute for your own two eyes, and it never hurts to double and triple-check before crossing – especially living in the world we live in today, when it seems like everyone is texting and driving.
Tunnels And Overhead Walkways
In some areas, tunnels and overhead walkways have been installed to allow pedestrians to cross the road legally. If a pedestrian chooses not to cross the road using a tunnel or overhead walkway, then he must yield to oncoming traffic when attempting to cross the road.
Drivers are not required to stop for him just because they see him in the road and, in some cases, they may not be able to stop in time. If these installations were put there to help pedestrians, and a pedestrian chose not to use it, he would have a hard time proving a personal injury case in a court of law.
However, if this did, in fact, happen to you, a pedestrian attorney can still help you fight for your case. We understand that not every situation is as cut and dry as the law makes it out to be, and we are here to hear you out and fight for what you deserve.
Were You Hit By A Car When Crossing The Road Legally? We Can Help.
If you were hit by a car in the state of Georgia while crossing the road legally, we can help you fight for the money you need to cover your medical care and compensation for lost wages. Fill out the form to the right or call us at (404) 341-6555 to be connected with one of our knowledgeable car accident lawyers.
We offer a free consultation with no obligation to retain, and we do not collect any fees unless we win. Car accidents in a car are no joke, let alone without your car there to protect you. We understand how harrowing this situation can be, and we want to help you get the justice you deserve. Call us today!