Pedestrian and Driver Duties

pedestrian and driver duties

States have an interest in keeping their citizens safe and free from injury. Accordingly, Tennessee law explicitly defines certain duties for both pedestrians and drivers with respect to pedestrians. These duties are intended to decrease the risk of automobile-pedestrian accidents, and they apply to all drivers and pedestrians throughout the state.

Tennessee Driver Duties

In Tennessee, drivers of automobiles must comply with the following laws regarding pedestrians:

  • When in a crosswalk, pedestrians have the right-of-way. Drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing the road in a crosswalk when the pedestrian is on the same half of the road as the vehicle. If the crosswalk is located in a school zone, drivers must yield to pedestrians no matter where they are located within the crosswalk, and the vehicle must remain stopped until the pedestrian has completely crossed the road. (Tennessee Code Annotated Section 55-8-134)
  • When a vehicle is stopped at a crosswalk or at an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to allow a pedestrian to cross the road, other drivers are not allowed to pass the stopped vehicle. (Tennessee Code Annotated Section 55-8-134)
  • When a pedestrian using a guide dog or cane is attempting to cross a street, drivers are required to come to a complete stop and take all necessary precautions to avoid injuring the pedestrian. (Tennessee Code Annotated Section 55-8-180)
  • Most importantly, drivers are required at all times to use due care to avoid hitting or injuring a pedestrian on any Tennessee roadway, and the driver should use his horn if necessary to avoid colliding with the pedestrian. Tennessee law requires that drivers use special care when the pedestrian in question is a child or an incapacitated person. (Tennessee Code Annotated Section 55-8-136)
Tennessee Pedestrian Duties

All pedestrians in Tennessee are required to observe the following laws:

  • Pedestrians must follow all pedestrian control traffic signals, such as “walk” and “don’t walk.” (Tennessee Code Annotated Section 55-8-111)
  • Pedestrians are subject to traffic signals at intersections, such as red lights. (Tennessee Code Annotated Section 55-8-133)
  • Pedestrians are prohibited from leaving a curb or sidewalk and/or running into the path of a car when the driver will not have time to stop. (Tennessee Code Annotated Section 55-8-134)
  • If a pedestrian is crossing a road and is NOT in a crosswalk, the pedestrian must yield the right-of-way to any vehicles on the road. (Tennessee Code Annotated Section 55-8-135)
  • Pedestrians cannot cross the road outside of a crosswalk when they are between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are present. (Tennessee Code Annotated Section 55-8-135)
  • When sidewalks are available, pedestrians are required to use them. If a sidewalk is not available or is not usable, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road facing traffic. (Tennessee Code Annotated Section 55-8-138)

When drivers and pedestrians fail to follow these laws, injuries often occur. If you have been injured in a pedestrian-automobile accident, contact us so that we can review your case in a free, no-obligation consultation. Call us at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866.812.8787 and one of our award-winning lawyers will let you know if we can help you and your family. We handle all pedestrian accident cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we recover money for you.

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