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Understanding your responsibilities as a pedestrian in traffic

As a pedestrian, you are more susceptible to injury on the road. For this reason, there are traffic laws in place specifically for those who walk instead of drive. Along with keeping drivers accountable, these laws also govern the acts of pedestrians.

If you recently received an injury due to an accident with a vehicle, you may qualify for an accident claim. In such cases, it is important you understand a few key things about your responsibilities as a pedestrian.

Crosswalk right of way

Most individuals learn that pedestrians always have the right of way. This is true to some extent, but the laws of the state can help to clarify the terms of such instances. Georgia code 40-6-91 details pedestrian rights and expectations of pedestrians at crosswalks. Basically, a pedestrian must cross the roadway in the crosswalk area by following traffic signals. The code also details the expectation of drivers. In short, drivers must watch and stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk on their side of the road.

Crossing outside of crosswalk

The Georgia code also details that a crosswalk is not only an area of an intersection denoted by lines and markings. A sidewalk is also a crosswalk, as well as an area along a curb or edge of a roadway. In other words, even if a crosswalk area does not denote it, there is still a specific area for pedestrian crossing at an intersection. However, this does not mean an individual may cross at any point. Pedestrians must still cross at traffic light intersections, and they must cross on the shortest straight path, not diagonally. 

It is important to understand your duty of care as a pedestrian, as well as the duty of a driver at all times, but especially in the case of an accident claim. Being knowledgeable of the codes can help you to build a solid case. You may also want to consult with an attorney to ensure you are within your rights and that you receive just compensation for your pain and suffering.

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