Crosswalks are a critical part of the road system, designed to help keep pedestrians safe. Drivers need to know how to operate their vehicles around them and what laws to follow in California. A simple mistake can put a pedestrian in serious danger.
First and foremost, if a pedestrian is legally in a crosswalk, a driver needs to stop and yield the right of way. This is important at all times but especially when drivers are turning. They may have the legal right to turn while the pedestrians on the other street are crossing. They must wait for those pedestrians before turning.
Additionally, drivers need to stop behind crosswalks when waiting at a light. They cannot stop on the crosswalk and block it. This forces pedestrians into the road or makes them squeeze between cars, putting them in serious danger.
Drivers also need to remember that not all crosswalks are at corners. They need to pay attention to mid-street crosswalks, as well. Even in situations where they don’t automatically need to stop, they should still slow down.
With the rise of electric cars, drivers need to be aware that these vehicles are far quieter than gasoline-powered cars. That may have a lot of benefits, but one of the downsides is that pedestrians often cannot hear these cars. Drivers need to be extra vigilant and assume that pedestrians may not see them, even when crossing.
As a pedestrian, it’s wise to be aware of these rules and to know that drivers will break them. If someone hits you and causes serious injuries, you may be able to seek financial compensation.