The Woodlands has more than 160 miles of pathways designed for residents to walk or run. Many of pathways cross lanes of traffic, and unfortunately, pedestrians are sometimes struck by a vehicle while using the crosswalks.
We are often asked who has the right of way on crosswalks in the Woodlands.
Texas law requires vehicles to yield right of way to pedestrians in the following situations:
- When a pedestrian is crossing at a crosswalk facing a “walk” signal;
- If there is no traffic control signal and the pedestrian is already crossing in the vehicle’s half of the roadway or close to a vehicle’s half of the roadway;
- When the vehicle is entering or emerging from an alley, building, private road, or driveway and the pedestrian is crossing entrance on sidewalk;
- A pedestrian who has legally entered a crosswalk does have the right of way as to oncoming vehicles. This applies to a marked or an unmarked crosswalk;
- A pedestrian has the right of way to cross the road, when it is safe to do so, at any part (i.e., at the middle portion of the street) of a roadway that is not controlled by a traffic light. [ 552.005 (b), Texas Transportation Code]
- However, even if a pedestrian is technically in violation of the right of way rules, a driver who hits a pedestrian may still be liable; drivers are required to keep a proper lookout, and must safely control the speed of their vehicles, and must timely apply their brakes, in order to avoid a collision.
Drivers are required to exercise due care to avoid hitting a pedestrian, including:
- Honking the horn to warn if necessary; and
- Exercising proper precaution when seeing a child or confused/ incapacity person on the roadway.
Pedestrians must follow these rules:
- Pedestrians must obey traffic signals when crossing a roadway, Texas Transportation Code 552.001.
- A pedestrian walking down the street must walk on the left side of the street, facing oncoming traffic. Texas Transportation Code 552.006.
- Pedestrians must obey pedestrian control signals: walk on “walk”. Do not walk on “don’t walk” or “wait”. A pedestrian should proceed to the sidewalk or safety island if only partially across when “don’t walk” or “wait” is displayed.
- A pedestrian may not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and proceed into the crosswalk in the path of a vehicle so close that it is impossible for the vehicle operator to yield.
- A pedestrian shall yield right of way to a vehicle when the pedestrian is crossing a roadway somewhere other than in a crosswalk or where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead crossing is provided.
If you or a loved one is struck by a vehicle at a crosswalk, the attorneys at Wham & Rogers have the experience to help you with your claim.