FREE Consultation (866) 848-7077

Do pedestrians have the right-of-way in Connecticut?

Posted On behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jun 06, 2014 in Pedestrian Accidents

As a person who frequently gets from place to place on foot, it may feel as though the road is an unpredictable place. This seems consistent with the idea that pedestrians are usually at the mercy of motorists' willingness to comply with traffic regulations. Keeping this in mind, it may be helpful to when drivers should yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in Connecticut.

Generally speaking, motorists should yield to pedestrians who are crossing the road. However, as is often the case, the state laws regarding pedestrians are nuanced.

Connecticut statutes describe a number of situations that pedestrians seeking to cross the road might encounter. The following are a few ways in which right-of-way is defined by law:

  • Marked crosswalks controlled by signals: Pedestrians must obey traffic signals, including "walk" or "don't walk" signs. However, when pedestrians are given the signal to walk, vehicles traveling through an intersection or turning must yield.
  • Crosswalks without a signal: Drivers must yield to pedestrians who step off the curb and into roadway at a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
  • Crossing outside of a crosswalk: Pedestrians should yield the right-of-way to vehicles if they aren't using a designated crosswalk.
  • Emergency vehicles: If an emergency vehicle is approaching with lights and sirens on, pedestrians must always yield.

These are some of the most common situations in which a pedestrian might decide to cross the road. More generally, however, the law indicates that motorists should exercise caution and care in the vicinity of pedestrians. This means taking steps to avoid a pedestrian accident, which might include slowing down or sounding a warning horn.

Of course, the details of every accident are unique and, as a result, state or local law might apply differently. As such, pedestrians who are injured in a car accident could benefit from learning their legal options from a reputable personal injury attorney.

Source: Connecticut General Statutes, Chapter 249, § 14-300, accessed June 5, 2014