All pedestrians face the risk of getting into an accident while walking on city streets. Pedestrians are completely vulnerable to collisions and may suffer serious injuries and even death. But pedestrian laws and rules are often neglected and forgotten, resulting in thousands of casualties each year. Pedestrian accidents are caused by different factors. Some of them include:
- Refusal to yield the right-of-way, from the driver or pedestrian
- Not stopping at a traffic sign or light
- Distracted driving
- Not stopping at a crosswalk
- Driving beyond the speed limit
- Impaired driving
Knowing and respecting pedestrian laws is important for both pedestrians and drivers in Indiana in order to avoid terrible and possibly life-changing accidents.
What Are the Indiana Pedestrian Laws
First, pedestrians must always follow traffic signals such as “walk” and “don’t walk,” and use crosswalks and pathways meant for pedestrians. They should never disturb or block the flow of traffic. If a pedestrian is crossing at a place with no traffic signs, they must yield to traffic.
Indiana law states that vehicles must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within a crosswalk. That said, before entering the crosswalk, pedestrians should confirm that all vehicles have stopped. The pedestrian must yield the right-of-way when he or she is not crossing within a marked crosswalk. Indiana law forbids the pedestrian from stepping into the path of a car that is close enough to be an immediate danger. In the case of a blind pedestrian, whose condition is conveyed by the use of a white cane or a guide dog, the driver must yield at all times.
It should also be noted that if a vehicle stops while a pedestrian is crossing the roadway, a driver of another vehicle does not have the right to pass the stopped vehicle since this puts the pedestrian in danger.
When it comes to sidewalks, if one is available and practicable, it is not lawful for a pedestrian to walk along an adjacent roadway. If a sidewalk is not available, a pedestrian walking along a highway must walk on a shoulder, if available, as far to the side as possible. In case there is no sidewalk or shoulder, the pedestrian must walk as near as possible to the outside edge of the roadway.
A pedestrian should not stand in a roadway to ask a ride from a driver unless there is an emergency that requires it. If a pedestrian is standing on or near a street or highway with the goal of asking someone to watch his parked vehicle, this is considered as unlawful.
If an authorized emergency vehicle or police vehicle is driving and signaling its presence with visual and audible signs, the pedestrian must yield the right-of-way. With that said, the driver of the vehicle in question must take into consideration the safety of pedestrians and not act in a way that puts them in danger.
A pedestrian may not enter or stay on a bridge or an approach to a bridge beyond the bridge signal, gate, or barrier after a bridge operation signal indication has been given.
A driver should never drive through or within a safety zone. Likewise, a driver should give the right-of-way to pedestrians when crossing a sidewalk.
Indiana Pedestrians Should Always Exercise Caution
As a pedestrian, even if you are walking on a crosswalk, never assume that you are safe from danger. The reality is that painted lines offer no protection against an impaired driver or a malfunctioning vehicle coming your way. Never take the safe driving of others for granted. It is best to stay aware of your surroundings at all times and walk at a pace that does not delay traffic.
As a driver, it is best to be patient behind the wheel and observe the behavior of pedestrians, especially in highly frequented areas. Children and elderly people require special attention. The same goes for pedestrians walking dogs and pedestrians walking at night. Remember to always yield the right-of-way when appropriate. Drive at a reasonable speed and stay prepared to brake or steer at any moment. Constant vigilance from both pedestrians and drivers is key to avoiding pedestrian accidents.
Reach Out to an Indianapolis, Indiana Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
If you been involved in a pedestrian accident in Indianapolis, Indiana, reach out to Rowe & Hamilton today for a free consultation to discuss your case and consider your legal options. Obtaining compensation for the injuries caused by the party at fault can be a complex process, and our assistance will help you ease your worries and build a strong case so you can receive the compensation you need to fully recover.