Texas Pedestrian Right-of-Way Laws Explained
Auto-pedestrian accidents in Texas happen regularly, and in most cases, pedestrians have the right of way. According to the Texas Transportation Code § 552.008, drivers are expected to be careful and avoid collision with pedestrians by honking and using proper precautions when an incapacitated person or child uses the road.
Vehicles are supposed to stop for pedestrians on crosswalks, but the concept of unmarked crosswalks brings about confusion. Most drivers are unaware that they should give pedestrians the right-of-way even when crossing on unmarked crosswalks.
Do Pedestrians Always Have The Right-Of-Way in Texas?
There are instances when a pedestrian must yield to drivers. An example of when pedestrians do not have the right of way is when crossing between intersections. See the yellow arrow in the image below.
Pedestrian Right-of-Way Laws in Texas
Traffic Control Signs laws
Pedestrians, like drivers and cyclists, are supposed to observe crosswalks and traffic signs. However, they do not always have the right of way in Texas. When the walk sign or green signal shows on a marked or unmarked crosswalk, drivers must give pedestrians the right-of-way. Also, when there is a do-not-walk, wait, or red signal, pedestrians may not cross.
If a crosswalk does not have traffic control signals, drivers should yield pedestrians the right-of-way. Vehicles moving on the same side as the pedestrian should give right-of-way, while those on the adjacent side should stop.
Do Pedestrians Have To Stop At Stop Signs?
According to the Texas Transportation Code, Sec. 552.005. CROSSING AT POINT OTHER THAN CROSSWALK; City of Austin Code of Ordinances, §12-1-26 PEDESTRIANS ON, the answer is yes, they must follow the rules of the road. The difference is that at a stop sign, the pedestrian has right-of-way.
Crossing A Crosswalk Or Intersection Laws
Unless there is no crosswalk or intersection available, it is illegal for pedestrians to cross on other parts of the road. In this case, where no crosswalk is available, and a pedestrian has to cross the road, he/she has to give oncoming vehicles the right-of-way. Pedestrians are only allowed to cross intersections diagonally when authorized by a traffic control device.
Walking On The Sidewalk Vs. On The Road Laws
In Texas, when a sidewalk is available, it is illegal for pedestrians to walk on the road. They should use the available pedestrian path or sidewalk. Pedestrians are allowed to walk on the road only when the sidewalk is blocked by something like ongoing construction or lack of a sidewalk. Keep to the far left side of the road to face oncoming vehicles if you have to walk on the road.
Pedestrians should allow vehicles enough time before walking on the road or using a crosswalk to ensure safety, especially when the vehicle is speeding or very close to the pedestrian.
What About Bikers? Are They Pedestrians?
Bikers in Texas have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles and not pedestrians. Therefore, they are required to yield the right-of-way and adhere to all other rules of the road. Some areas in Texas allow bikers to use sidewalks, but they should yield way to pedestrians. However, in other areas, it is illegal for bikers to use sidewalks.
How can you Protect Yourself from Colliding with Vehicles?
If you like to jog, walk to work or school, you can take the following measures to keep yourself safe on the road.
- Wear bright clothing that can reflect, especially at night.
- Look left, right, and then left again before crossing at intersections.
- Before crossing the street between parked vehicles or stepping off a bus, check for traffic.
- If you are crossing at an intersection, try making eye contact with the driver.
A Skilled Lawyer Can Help You If You Get Hit By A Motor Vehicle
Regardless of how responsible you are in adhering to the Texas pedestrian laws, a reckless or negligent driver could still hit you. If this happens, you need to take legal action immediately. At Johnson Garcia LLP, we can help you get compensation for all your financial, physical, and emotional damages. Contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today or call 832-402-9332 for a free and no-obligation consultation.