Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way?

Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way?

An Overview of Washington’s Pedestrian Laws

As more pedestrians are out and about during spring and summer, it's essential to understand the laws that Washington has in place to protect these individuals. One common misconception is that pedestrians always have the right of way regardless of the circumstances; however, this is not always the case.

Pedestrians and Drivers Have a Shared Responsibility

Like drivers, pedestrians must abide by all traffic signs and signals and yield to vehicles when outside an intersection. Aside from this, in most cases, pedestrians do have the right of way when in marked or unmarked crosswalks, as well as in intersections. Other laws they must adhere to include:

  • Pedestrians must use a sidewalk when available; if not available, they must walk on the left side of the road or on the left shoulder.
  • Pedestrians may not leave the sidewalk in front of oncoming vehicles.
  • If there is a traffic or police officer at an intersection, pedestrians must take direction from them over the control devices.

It’s also important to note that bicyclists must also yield to pedestrians in intersections and crosswalks.

Can Pedestrians Be At Fault for a Collision?

There may be instances in which pedestrians are found partially at fault in a crash. Since Washington is a pure comparative fault state, if a pedestrian is found at a certain percentage of fault, then the compensation they may be awarded will be reduced by that percentage. Working with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney can help ensure that you are receiving the maximum compensation possible for your case.

How Kornfeld Law Can Help

Our dedicated team of personal injury attorneys understands that sustaining an injury in a pedestrian accident can often come with life-altering implications. When you've sustained serious injuries, know that you may be eligible to pursue compensation through an accident claim. Schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today by calling (425) 657-5255 or filling out this short form.


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