Do pedestrians always have the right of way in New York?

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2022 | Pedestrian Accidents

An accident that involves a pedestrian and a motor vehicle can be quite devastating. In fact, nearly 300 New Yorkers lose their lives in pedestrian-related accidents each year with over 15,000 more sustaining serious injuries.

If you are hurt in a pedestrian accident, you may file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party. However, since New York is a comparative negligence state, the compensation amount you receive will largely depend on your contribution to the accident in question.

When the pedestrian has right of way

According to New York law, pedestrians have the right of way at the crosswalks as well as at the intersections. Even if the intersection has no crosswalk marks, motorists are required to yield to pedestrians. The same law gives pedestrians the right of way whenever a motorist is leaving a building, a parking lot or when pulling out on the street. Motorists are required to yield to pedestrians who are waiting at unmarked crosswalks too.

Pedestrians, on the other hand, are required to follow the “Walk” and “Do not walk” signs at the intersections that have traffic signals.

When the pedestrian must give way

Pedestrians do not always have an unfettered right of way in New York. For instance, pedestrians may not walk on the road or step off the sidewalk in a manner that would endanger their lives as well as the other road users. Also, pedestrians cannot cross the road away from the crosswalk (jaywalk) if doing so would be dangerous. Thus, pedestrians who are crossing a roadway on foot away from the designated crosswalk may be required to yield to the motorists.

Nearly all pedestrian accidents are preventable. Find out how you can safeguard your rights if you are involved in a pedestrian accident that is not your fault.