A: When unsafe conditions exist or there is no sidewalk, a pedestrian may use the road to walk, but must walk on the left side of the roadway facing traffic. Where sidewalks are available and they may be used safely, it is unlawful for a pedestrian to walk along the roadway.
“Rules of the Road” to avoid unsafe conditions
Just like motorists, pedestrians are expected to follow certain rules of the road, including:
- Pedestrians are required to use sidewalks where they are provided and safe to use. When sidewalks are not provided, a pedestrian is required to walk on the left side of the roadway facing traffic [Section 1156-b, NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law].
- When sidewalks are unavailable, pedestrians must walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Pedestrians must obey traffic signals and/or traffic officers.
- When there is no traffic control signal, drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, particularly if a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, or there is potential danger to the pedestrian [Section 1151, NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law].
- In addition, every driver approaching an intersection or crosswalk must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian accompanied by a guide dog or a cane [Section 1153-c, NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law].
- If there isn’t a crosswalk, sign or signal at mid-block locations, a pedestrian must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles on the roadway [Section 1152, NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law].
- Regardless of the right-of-way, the driver is required by law to take great care to avoid “hitting” pedestrians.
- The driver of a vehicle, when entering or exiting from an alleyway, building, private road or driveway must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian on a sidewalk [Section 1151-a, NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law].
- Pedestrians must obey traffic control signals, signs and pavement markings when they are crossing a street [Section 1150, NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law].
- Pedestrians are not allowed on expressways or interstate highways.
If you are are injured in a car accident while walking, jogging or riding a bicycle, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. Skilled legal representation can help make sure you are compensated to the fullest extent possible, whether you choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit or settle out-of-court. If you are injured in the Capital Region – in Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Clifton Park, Saratoga or elsewhere in the Capital District – please call the personal injury lawyers of Lamarche Safranko Law PLLC for a free consultation.