As a follow up to my previous post in which I discussed the rights and responsibilities of pedestrians and motorists as crosswalks, I wanted to add a very important note about certain instances in which the safety of all parties is not clearly defined.

Crosswalks are designed to create a safe walkway for pedestrians. However, not all areas include crosswalks. Some parking lots, residential communities and commercial buildings do not have crosswalks for pedestrians. In these instances, there are certain rights and responsibilities which differ from those associated with areas clearly defined for pedestrians.

In these instances, be sure to consider the following:

  • Pedestrians must look before undertaking a street crossing;
  • Pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to vehicles on the highway;
  • Pedestrians are held to a higher degree of care than if they are crossing in an area other than a crosswalk or intersection;
  • Pedestrians must exercise due care under the circumstances;
  • Pedestrians are not automatically deemed negligence for crossing in an area not controlled by a crosswalk;
  • Motorists also have to exercise due care under the circumstances;
  • Motorists’ duty of care is lesser than the duty of care required in the crosswalk/intersection area;
  • Motorist always have the duty to keep a constant lookout for pedestrians.

The exercise of due care and the determination of responsibility are extremely fact sensitive to the particular circumstance. Beware of your duties and responsibilities.