Can a Driver Be Liable for Hitting a Pedestrian Who Did Not Follow the Rules of the Road?

Yes. You do not have a license to hit a pedestrian who is breaking the law. If you strike a pedestrian who is violating the law, but you could have stopped in time, you are at fault. Even if a walker is improperly in the roadway, drivers have these duties under Georgia law:

  • Maintain a careful lookout and exercise due care to avoid hitting any pedestrian at any time.
  • Sound your horn when necessary.
  • Be extra careful around children or people who appear confused, incapacitated, or intoxicated.
  • Always yield right of way to any blind pedestrian with a guide dog or who is carrying a walking stick or cane that is white, or red and white.

What Do Pedestrian Crossing Signals Mean?

There are three pedestrian crossing signals. They are:

  • WALK. When the pedestrian traffic signal displays this message, pedestrians can leave the curb to cross the street.
  • DON’T WALK (orange). Pedestrians cannot step into the roadway to cross the street when this message is showing.
  • DON’T WALK (red). If the pedestrian has already started to cross the street, he can proceed to the other side. A pedestrian may not begin to cross the street when this signal is flashing in red.

How Do You Determine Liability in a Pedestrian Accident?

The law will determine who is at fault in a pedestrian-motor vehicle accident by balancing the rights and responsibilities of the driver and the pedestrian. We will investigate your accident to learn the facts of the case and determine the liability.

If the driver broke the law, the driver would be at fault, unless there is sufficient justification or excuse for what the driver did. If the pedestrian did not follow the rules of the road, the walker could be at fault, unless the situation falls within one of the exceptions. In many cases, both the driver and the pedestrian are at fault, and Georgia comparative negligence applies, such as when a driver who is texting hits a jaywalking pedestrian.

Jason R. Schultz
Helping Georgia area residents with car accident, medical malpractice, and personal injury claims since 1991.