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Drivers Must Yield To Pedestrians in New York

Dealing with pedestrians is a fairly common occurrence for drivers, yet many are not quite sure of the appropriate rules on when to yield the right of way. Numerous accidents across the country frequently involve pedestrians and cars. Some of these accidents may have been avoided if the driver knew and obeyed the proper laws for yielding to pedestrians.

Typically, pedestrians generally cross the street at crosswalks when the appropriate signal is displayed for safe crossing. A few seconds after the pedestrian light signals for crossing, the traffic signal for vehicles on the parallel street will turn green. At this point, most pedestrians should be part way through the intersection and serve as a visual queue to drivers to not cross them.

Many accidents happen when cars turning right onto a perpendicular street cross the intersecting pedestrian or a car turning left from a parallel lane does the same. No matter the scenario, a car must yield to a pedestrian who has already started to cross the street – even if the pedestrian signal has turned since they began walking. Some pedestrians travel slower than the federal standard of three feet per second, so drivers must take the pedestrians walking speed into account before making any decision to travel through a crosswalk.

Simply obeying traffic-yielding guidelines will not solve all problems relating to pedestrian accidents; additionally, drivers need to avoid distractions while they travel. For drivers, operating a vehicle while distracted can be the difference between harmlessly changing the radio station and hitting someone walking. Driving is a task that requires attention to road conditions, other vehicles, intersections and more, so motorists need to exercise caution at all times to limit distractions.

Failing to yield to pedestrians and follow other safe driving guidelines can result in costly traffic violation tickets and in some instances, accidents that result in injury or loss of life.