Virginia Pedestrian Laws and Safety Issues

As the world begins to reopen, more people have been out and about on the streets. With more vehicles on the road, however, it also means there are more pedestrians. Because there is more traffic on our roads and crosswalks, the risk of a potential Virginia pedestrian accident is higher than it has been in recent months—and drivers and pedestrians must both exercise the necessary precautions to remain safe.

In a recent news article, a vehicle hit a pedestrian at a Virginia intersection. According to authorities, the pedestrian was transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries. The accident remains under investigation, and law enforcement is still examining who is at fault since it was not immediately clear following the collision.

Virginia, similar to other states, has specific laws pertaining to pedestrian safety. In Virginia, pedestrians are expected to always use crosswalks and adhere to proper safety procedures when crossing, if available. Motorists in Virginia are further expected to ensure the safety of pedestrians by yielding to them on marked and unmarked crosswalks.

Although this law may make it appear that pedestrians always have the right of way when accidents take place, this is not necessarily the case. Virginia law also includes requirements that pedestrians cannot dangerously or unnecessarily interfere with traffic on the road. For example, if a pedestrian jumps in front of a vehicle without warning at an unmarked crosswalk area, the pedestrian may not be considered to have had the right of way.

When a crosswalk is clearly marked, or a pedestrian is crossing at an intersection where the speed limit is under 35 miles per hour, however, pedestrians have the right of way. Drivers in these situations are expected to always yield to pedestrians crossing public streets or roadways under these conditions. Pedestrians also have the right of way on sidewalks and are expected to use them when available. If there is no sidewalk available, pedestrians must remain on the far-left side of the road so that cars can see them.

In addition, Virginia laws articulate exactly who counts as a pedestrian when navigating the state’s crosswalks. Any person traveling on foot is considered a “pedestrian” under Virginia law, but this definition can also include other individuals. For example, people who are riding bicycles, skateboards, electric scooters, or rollerblades could be considered pedestrians as well. Although bicyclists are typically considered pedestrians also under Virginia law, they are usually expected to yield to people traveling by foot. Under Virginia law generally, anyone who is not traveling in a motor vehicle such as a motorcycle, truck, or car, is considered a pedestrian.

Do You Need a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney?

If you or someone you know has been recently injured in a Virginia pedestrian accident, contact the attorneys at The Schupak Law Firm for assistance. At our firm, we have represented clients in all types of personal injury claims, including car accidents, bus accidents, wrongful death claims, and nursing home abuse and neglect cases. To learn more and schedule a free consultation today, contact us at 240-833-3914.

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