Walking is excellent exercise and provides additional opportunities to be outside and enjoy Pennsylvania’s beautiful and diverse landscapes. Using walking as an alternate means of transportation saves money on gas, reduces motorized vehicle pollution and improves quality of life in many ways.
If you are considering incorporating walking as a part of your exercise regimen or using it as your daily commute, you should be aware of Pennsylvania pedestrian laws (while there are fewer than those affecting vehicles, they do exist), general guidelines and safety tips to ensure your safety and that of those around you.
Pennsylvania Laws for Pedestrians
Pedestrians must follow some basic laws in the state of Pennsylvania when walking on public roadways or sidewalks.
Be sure to educate yourself of all rules affecting walkers, including the following:
- Pedestrians have the right of way at any intersection or crosswalk where there are no traffic signs or signals.
- Pedestrians have the right of way when using a sidewalk that crosses a road, entrance to a building, or an alley or driveway.
- Vehicles have the right of way in any situation where there is a pedestrian overhead crossing bridge or underground tunnel available.
- If you are at an intersection with a crosswalk or traffic signal, you must obey the traffic signals and rules of the road. Pay attention to the pedestrian walk/don’t walk signals and yield to motorists when it is not your turn to cross. Always use crosswalks and do not cross anywhere else when they are available.
- Always use sidewalks when they are available.
- Use the shoulder of the road and walk on the left side of the road facing traffic when no sidewalk is available. Yield to vehicles when on this type of roadway.
General Safety Tips for Pedestrians
While Pennsylvania’s pedestrian laws are in place to protect the safety of everyone using the state’s public roads, there are several additional safety guidelines not addressed by these laws that are also important to understand:
- Wear bright clothing that allows others on the road to see you easily.
- Never assume drivers can see you or that they will stop when traffic signals indicate they must. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and wait until a vehicle has reached a full stop before entering the roadway to cross.
- Headphones are a distraction and prevent you from being able to hear vehicles approaching. It is strongly recommended that you do not wear headphones when walking on public roads.
- Always look left, right and then left again when checking for approaching vehicles before crossing the street.
- Children should always be accompanied by adults when walking on public roadways.
- In remote areas, areas of questionable safety or in the dark, it is best to walk in groups if possible.
What if I’ve been injured while walking?
Accidents happen, and even the most cautious pedestrian can be injured while walking. If you have been injured in an accident, Cordisco & Saile LLC can help. Call us today to set up a consultation to discuss your case with an attorney: 215-642-2335.