Q: What Is an Unmarked Crosswalk?
Georgia defines a crosswalk as a part of a roadway designated for pedestrian crossing. Marked crosswalks have painted lines or other visible markings to make the crosswalk obvious. An “unmarked crosswalk” has no visible markings.
Georgia recognizes both marked and unmarked crosswalks. Thus, crosswalks exist on all four corners of most intersections in Georgia, even if there are no painted lines.
Who Has the Right of Way in an Unmarked Crosswalk?
Georgia pedestrian laws state that pedestrians have the right of way in an unmarked crosswalk if:
- There is no traffic signal at the crosswalk intersection.
- They are on the half of the road a driver is on.
- They are within one lane of the road the driver is on or is turning on.
- They are already crossing.
- The driver is turning on a green light.
What if the “Don’t Walk” sign is flashing? Pedestrians still have the right of way. However, pedestrians should not start walking when the sign is flashing.
Is a vehicle moving and too close to yield to a pedestrian? Then it is illegal for pedestrians to move into the vehicle’s path.
Vehicles have the right of way if:
- A A pedestrian is crossing outside of a marked or unmarked crosswalk unless the pedestrian is already on the road.
- There is a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing but the pedestrian decides to cross on the road.
Drivers must stop before reaching a crosswalk to allow pedestrians to cross safely.
If another driver stopped at a crosswalk, marked or unmarked, to allow a pedestrian to cross, all drivers must also stop until the pedestrian has left the road.
Who Is Liable for a Pedestrian Accident in an Unmarked Crosswalk?
To determine liability for a pedestrian accident in an unmarked crosswalk, we must identify who had the right of way. Let us consider two examples:
Example A: A pedestrian steps into an unmarked crosswalk. There are no pedestrian crossing signals. A driver with a green light turns right and hits the pedestrian. Who was at-fault?
It is likely the driver will be at-fault because he failed to yield right of way to the pedestrian.
Example B: A driver is turning right on green when a pedestrian steps into an unmarked crosswalk. The driver hits the pedestrian. Because the driver was already making his turn and likely did not have time to stop, the pedestrian will likely be at-fault. If the driver had time to stop but did not because he was not paying attention, both the driver and the pedestrian might share fault.
Injured in an Accident in a Crosswalk? Schedule a Free Consultation Today
Have you been in an accident involving a marked or unmarked crosswalk? You can get a free consultation on your legal options. Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. at 404-474-0804.