One in four deadly crashes in Maryland involves a pedestrian. Although pedestrian accidents only accounted for three percent of the state’s auto accidents in 2015, they accounted for 19 percent of statewide fatalities, according to the 2017 Maryland Pedestrian Safety Program Area Brief.

Because of this, it is vital that all motorists and pedestrians understand the laws regulating road usage.

The experienced team of Silver Spring car crash attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan are familiar with the devastating effects of pedestrian accidents and are available to help those who have been injured or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident in Maryland. Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to learn more.

Laws for Motorists

Because pedestrians are at an increased risk of being seriously injured or killed in accidents with vehicles, the Code of Maryland Transportation Article outlines several laws that motorists must follow to ensure pedestrian safety, including:

  • Drivers must come to a complete stop for pedestrians crossing the street in a crosswalk if the pedestrian is on the side of the road the vehicle is driving or is approaching the vehicle’s lane from the other side of the road. (TR§21-502(a)2)
  • It is illegal to pass another vehicle that has stopped for a pedestrian in a marked or unmarked crosswalk. (TR§21-502(c))
  • Vehicles turning right or left on a green light must yield the right of way to pedestrians in the crosswalk. (TR§21-202(c, e))
  • At red lights, vehicles must stop at the clearly marked stop line or before entering the crosswalk. (TR§21-202(h))
  • Vehicles stopped at a red light must yield the right of way to pedestrians in the crosswalk. (TR§21-202(k))
  • Drivers have a responsibility to exercise due care and proper precaution to avoid hitting pedestrians. This can include sounding a horn to warn pedestrians of the vehicle’s presence. (TR§21-504(a, b, c))
  • Motorists must drive at an appropriate, reduced speed when there is a special danger to pedestrians. (TR§21-801(h))

Drivers should always be aware of nearby pedestrians, especially when driving through or near school zones and neighborhoods where children are active. They should always remain focused on the road by not driving while distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Laws for Pedestrians

Maryland Code also outlines several laws that pedestrians must follow to help ensure their safety, including:

  • At intersections with traffic control signals, pedestrians can only cross the street in the marked crosswalk. (TR§21-503(c))
  • Pedestrians facing a red traffic signal cannot enter the roadway. (TR§21-202(l))
  • Pedestrians cannot begin walking into a crosswalk if there is a solid Do Not Walk or raised hand signal. (TR§21-203(c))
  • Pedestrians cannot cross diagonally through an intersection unless authorized to do so by a traffic control device. (TR§21-503(d))
  • Pedestrians should yield the right of way to vehicles when crossing the street anywhere other than in a marked crosswalk or in an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. (TR§21-503(a))
  • Pedestrians must use sidewalks when they are provided. If there are no sidewalks, pedestrians should walk on the left shoulder or side of the road facing traffic. (TR§21-506(a, b))

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration also recommends that pedestrians follow several safety tips:

  • Always look left, right and left again before crossing the street
  • Do not run across the street
  • Pay attention by not using headphones or cellphones
  • Wear bright colors to help make sure you are seen
  • Wear lights and reflective clothing if walking at night
  • Be predictable by using sidewalks and crosswalks
  • Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them to ensure they see you

Get Legal Help After an Accident

Unfortunately, even if you follow these pedestrian laws and safety tips, accidents can still happen. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent or careless motorist, you may have legal options for obtaining compensation for your injuries and losses.

Contact the trusted team at Goldberg Finnegan to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to learn more. We charge no upfront fees and do not get paid unless you receive compensation.