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Pedestrian rights in North Carolina

Motorists sometimes expect pedestrians to get out of the way at intersections unless the driver has a red light or there are white bars marking the crossing. In reality, pedestrians in North Carolina have the right of way whether the crosswalk is marked or not. Pedestrians also have the right of way at intersections that do not have traffic lights.

While drivers of motor vehicles sometimes act as if they owned the road, the law holds otherwise. If the driver of a car or truck fails to yield to you when you have the right of way as a pedestrian, you have the right to seek full compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

The following summarizes situations when motorists must yield to pedestrians:

  • When an intersection has a stop sign, the driver must stop and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
  • When an intersection has a stoplight, vehicles must stop and yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk when the light is red.
  • When no traffic control signals are in place at an intersection, vehicles must yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk, whether the crosswalk is marked or not.
  • When a flashing red light is installed somewhere other than an intersection, vehicles must stop and yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
  • When a flashing yellow light is installed somewhere other than an intersection, vehicles may proceed with caution.

Pedestrians must obey traffic control devices. A pedestrian who has partially completed the crossing when the light turns red can proceed to a sidewalk or safety island. Pedestrians cannot enter crosswalks so suddenly that drivers do not have the opportunity to stop.

The law firm of Farris & Farris PA in Wilson, North Carolina, offers a free initial consultation to discuss your rights after a pedestrian accident.

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