Missouri and Illinois state laws regarding pedestrian rights dictate that drivers are required to “exercise the highest degree of care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway.” This means that it is generally up to drivers to be alert to where pedestrians are at and when they may be attempting to cross the street, and that drivers should honk their horns, brake and/or exercise any other reasonable caution in order to avoid getting into car versus pedestrian accidents.
Despite this overarching requirement for drivers, there are also some specific legal rights that pedestrians have (and do not have) when it comes to crossing the street and using walkways, like sidewalks and crosswalks. Some of these legal rights and prohibitions include the following:
- Pedestrians have the right-of-way in crosswalks when traffic control signals (such as “walk” or “do not walk” indicators) are not in place and when the pedestrians are about half-way across the road.
- Vehicles stopped at stop signs must stay stopped and allow any pedestrians to cross the roadway in front of the car, and any vehicles approaching from behind the stopped vehicle must also stop and yield to the pedestrian right-of-way (and not attempt to pass and drive around the stopped vehicle and/or pedestrian).
- Pedestrians should NOT cross roadways in areas other than crosswalks between adjacent signals that are in operation (i.e., pedestrians cannot jaywalk).
- Pedestrians should NOT attempt to cross a roadway when a “Don’t Walk” indicator is on (unless that pedestrian has already crossed part of the street when the “Walk” indicator was present).
- Pedestrians should NOT attempt to cross roadways by any route other than a right angle or the route that is the shortest distance to the curb (i.e., pedestrians should not attempt diagonal street crossings unless such crossings are specifically permitted).
If you were involved in a pedestrian accident, call Brown & Brown, LLP for a free consultation today. Dial 3s (314-333-3333 / 573-333-3333) to speak with an experienced traffic accident attorney in St. Louis, Missouri, or call us at 618-888-8888 if you live in or around Fairview Heights, Illinois.