14 Nov What Is An Unmarked Crosswalk?
Pedestrian accidents are all too common. While they can occur anywhere, unmarked crossings can increase the risk of pedestrian accidents.
An unmarked crosswalk is a portion of a roadway where there are no painted crosswalk lines or other markings to indicate that it is a designated crossing area for pedestrians. Unmarked crosswalks are often found at mid-block locations or at intersections where there is no stop sign or traffic light to control vehicle traffic.
In some jurisdictions, pedestrians have the right-of-way at all unmarked crosswalks, while in others, they must yield to oncoming traffic. The laws governing unmarked crosswalks vary from state to state, so it is important to know the rules in your area.
For more information on unmarked crosswalks, read on!
What is a crosswalk?
There are several types of pedestrian crossings, each with its own set of rules and regulations. The most common type of crossing is the marked crosswalk, which is typically found at intersections with stop signs or traffic lights.
As a designated area for pedestrians to cross a road, crosswalks are usually marked with painted lines or raised pavement markers. They may also have special lighting or signs to alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians.
Crosswalks may also be designated as exclusive pedestrian crossings, meaning that only pedestrians are allowed to use them.
These crossings are typically found in high-traffic areas where pedestrians need to be protected from vehicular traffic.
Controlled pedestrian crossings are typically found near schools or other locations where children are present. These crossings typically have a crossing guard on duty to help pedestrians safely navigate the intersection.
The other types of pedestrian crossings include:
- A pedestrian bridge that allows people to cross the road without disrupting the traffic. These bridges increase safety by keeping pedestrians and traffic separate.
- An unmarked crosswalk is the continuation of a sidewalk and is typically situated at an intersection.
The difference between a marked and unmarked crosswalk
Crosswalks are considered to be either marked or unmarked based on the presence of pavement markings and other visual cues. If a crosswalk has any type of pavement marking, it is considered to be a marked crosswalk. Otherwise, it is considered to be an unmarked crosswalk.
In other words, an unmarked crosswalk is a pedestrian crossing that is not delineated by painted lines, raised pavement markers, or other visual cues. These crosswalks occur at intersections or between sidewalks. To be recognized as an unmarked crosswalk, the roadways that intersect need to be at right angles.
The area between the sidewalk and an alley will not count as an unmarked crosswalk.
Marked crosswalks are typically found in areas that have high foot traffic including universities, business districts, and roads that meet designated paths for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Unmarked crosswalks are less common than marked crosswalks, but they serve the same purpose. Unmarked crosswalks are typically found at mid-block locations or at intersections where there is no stop sign or traffic signal controlling the flow of traffic.
In some cases, an unmarked crosswalk may have pavement markings that are faded or otherwise not very visible.
Because unmarked crosswalks do not have any physical markings or signage, it is important for pedestrians to use caution when crossing the road. Drivers should also be aware of unmarked crosswalks and yield to pedestrians who are crossing the street.
Why are unmarked crosswalks dangerous?
An unmarked crosswalk can pose a serious safety hazard for pedestrians, who may not be aware of the crosswalk’s location and could be struck by oncoming traffic. In addition, drivers may also be unaware of the crosswalk’s existence, which could lead to them failing to yield to pedestrians at the crossing.
Unmarked crosswalks are particularly dangerous at night or in low-visibility conditions, when pedestrians may have difficulty seeing oncoming traffic and drivers may have difficulty seeing pedestrians. Drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians in unmarked crosswalks can be subject to fines and other penalties under state law.
A GHSA (Governors Highway Safety Association) report finds that pedestrian fatalities are increasing significantly. Per the report, 22 pedestrians were killed after being struck by automobiles in 2020 each day.
In addition, 50,000 pedestrians have been seriously injured as a result of being struck by a vehicle. While pedestrians are at risk of being hit by traffic on both marked and unmarked crosswalks, recognizing the signs of a marked and unmarked crosswalk will help minimize these risks.
How to recognize an unmarked crosswalk?
If you’re walking or driving in an unfamiliar area, it can be difficult to know where to cross the street. You might see a sidewalk on one side of the road and assume that there is a crosswalk, but not all sidewalks have them. Here are some tips for recognizing an unmarked crosswalk:
-Look for a break in the curb. This is usually where the crosswalk begins.
-Look for pedestrian traffic signals. If there is a button to push for a walk signal, chances are good that there is a crosswalk nearby.
-Look for pedestrians waiting to cross the street. If you see people standing on the edge of the road, they may be waiting for a gap in traffic so they can cross.
-Pay attention to your own intuition. If you feel like there should be a crosswalk but you don’t see any of the above cues, trust your gut and look for a safe place to cross anyway.
Duties of a driver at an unmarked crosswalk
When approaching an unmarked crosswalk, drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Drivers must also come to a complete stop before the crosswalk and remain stopped until the pedestrian has completely crossed the roadway.
In an unmarked crosswalk, the right of way depends on who got to the crosswalk first. Pedestrians always have the right of way if they are already in the crosswalk when the driver approaches. If the driver is already at the crosswalk when the pedestrian arrives, then the driver has the right of way.
If you are driving at an unmarked crosswalk, you should yield to pedestrians who are crossing the street. If there is no traffic on the road, you may proceed through the crosswalk without stopping. However, if there is oncoming traffic, you should stop and wait for the pedestrians to clear the crosswalk before proceeding.
The responsibilities of pedestrians at unmarked crosswalks
Pedestrians crossing the street at an unmarked crosswalk have the same rights and responsibilities as those crossing at a marked crosswalk. In both cases, pedestrians must yield to oncoming traffic if there is no stop sign or traffic signal present. If a driver fails to yield to a pedestrian in either situation, they may be subject to a fine.
As per the CVC (California Vehicle Code ), pedestrians have a responsibility towards preserving their safety. They should not:
- Leave the curb suddenly
- Unnecessarily delay or stop oncoming traffic
- Run or walk into the path of a vehicle
Who is at fault if a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle at an unmarked crosswalk?
If a driver hits a pedestrian in an unmarked crosswalk, it is usually the driver’s fault. This is because drivers are expected to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, whether they are marked or not.
However, there are some circumstances in which the pedestrian may be at fault.
For example, the driver may not be held responsible if the pedestrian
- darted out into the crosswalk without looking, or
- was crossing against a red light
Another situation where the pedestrian may be held responsible if when they were distracted when walking.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of people who are injured while walking and using their cell phones or other devices. This is known as ‘distracted walking.”
In response to this trend, many states have enacted a law that prohibits pedestrians from using their cell phones while crossing the street.
The law is designed to help reduce the number of distracted walking accidents by requiring pedestrians to pay attention to their surroundings and not be distracted by their phones.
Although California has not enacted a state-wide law banning distracted walking, the city of Montclair has taken the first step to penalize distracted walking.
In most cases though, when a driver hits a pedestrian in an unmarked crosswalk, it will be considered the driver’s fault. Drivers need to be extra cautious when approaching crosswalks, and always yield to pedestrians who are crossing.
What to do if you are injured as a pedestrian at an unmarked crosswalk
If you or someone you know was recently injured in an unmarked crosswalk, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it is important to know that California law requires drivers to stop for pedestrians crossing the street, whether the crosswalk is marked or not.
If the driver who hit you did not stop or yield as required by law, they may be held liable for your injuries.
To hold the driver liable, you will need to prove that they were negligent. This means that you will need to show that the driver failed to use reasonable care when operating their vehicle.
Even if the driver did not stop, you may still be able to recover damages if you can prove that you were following all of the pedestrian laws.
For example, if you were crossing at an intersection with a green light in your favor, the driver would likely be held liable if they hit you.
It is also important to keep in mind that just because an accident occurs at an unmarked crosswalk does not mean that liability will automatically fall on the driver.
There are many factors that will be considered when determining who is at fault for an accident.
In California, the law of comparative negligence is used to apportion faults in accidents. This means that if you are partly responsible for an accident, your compensation may be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found to be 20 percent at fault for an accident, any damages you receive will be reduced by 20 percent.
If you have any questions about what happened in your specific case, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. The accident attorney can help investigate and determine who may be held liable for your injuries.
Why Consult a Yuba City Accident Attorney?
Unmarked crosswalks are typically found at intersections where there is no stop sign or traffic signal. Drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in unmarked crosswalks and should use caution when approaching them.
If a driver fails to yield to a pedestrian in an unmarked crosswalk and an accident occurs, the driver may be held liable for the pedestrian’s injuries. If you have been injured in such an accident, a Yuba City accident attorney can help you pursue compensation from the driver responsible for your injuries.
The specific damages that may be available to you will depend on the facts of your case. However, the damages you can recover include medical expenses for injuries including traumatic brain injury lost wages, pain, and suffering. In some cases, punitive damages may also be available if the other driver was grossly negligent.
Crosswalk accidents can be complex, and it’s important to have someone on your side who knows how to navigate the legal system and get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact A Skilled Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
As an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer, The Law Offices of Steve Gimblin will aggressively fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Our skilled personal injury attorney can show that :
- you were harmed in the accident
- the driver behaved negligently and
- their negligence played a key role in causing your injury
With years of experience handling crosswalk accident cases, we will fight tirelessly to get you the justice and compensation you deserve. We work with you to understand the details of your case and build a strong legal argument on your behalf.
Our personal injury attorney will:
- inform you of your legal options and rights
- give you an idea of what compensation you are entitled to,
- negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf
- file a personal injury lawsuit if necessary
Contact us today for a free consultation, and take the first step towards getting the justice you deserve.