Pedestrian Right of Way in Pennsylvania

Pedestrian laws are in place to prevent pedestrian accidents and protect walkers. Although the Pennsylvania rules of the road pertaining to pedestrians must be followed by walkers, they must also be adhered to by drivers as well.

When a motorist fails to do so and it results in a pedestrian getting struck and injured, the driver can be liable and may consult a Bensalem car accident lawyer to help pursue a PA injury claim.

Pennsylvania Rules of the Road Regarding a Pedestrian’s Right-of-Way

The right-of-way in any given situation means that access (i.e. whether crossing, passing) is granted to a particular party. In some cases it could be that a vehicle has the right-of-way and in others it would be the pedestrian.

When it comes to an intersection that doesn’t have traffic signals (non-controlled), pedestrians have the right-of-way whether in an unmarked or marked crosswalk.

Another situation in which the driver must yield the right-of-way is when a pedestrian is walking on a sidewalk that extends across an area which is also used by motorists:

  • entrance to a building;
  • parking lot;
  • driveway;
  • road; or
  • alley.


When there is a violation in which a driver fails to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian, he/she will receive a $50 fine.

What’s more, drivers must also refrain from passing another vehicle that is stopped at a marked crosswalk or any type of crosswalk at an intersection across which a pedestrian is crossing.

At the same time, the Pennsylvania rules of the road state that pedestrians cannot suddenly leave a sidewalk, curb or other area and walk or run in front of a vehicle, as this could cause a pedestrian accident.

Nor can a pedestrian walk against a traffic signal. If a pedestrian has a visual disability (may be evidenced by the use of a service dog or a white cane), drivers must yield the right-of-way. Fines can be as high as $150 for violating this law.

Pennsylvania Rules of the Road Regarding a Driver’s Right-of-Way

There are circumstances in which the driver will have the right-of-way. Pedestrians who are crossing at an intersection but not in a crosswalk (such as the middle of the street) must yield to oncoming vehicles.

If a pedestrian is attempting to cross a roadway where there are other means of doing so (such as an overhead crossing or pedestrian tunnel), he/she must yield to oncoming traffic. The same is true when a person is walking on the side of a roadway. However, if there a sidewalk available, pedestrians shouldn’t be walking along a roadway.

Fault in a Motor Vehicle-Pedestrian Accident

Motorists are not at fault every time there is a pedestrian accident. In some cases, pedestrians who violate the Pennsylvania rules of the road could be at fault. And other times it could be that both the driver and the pedestrian were responsible. It comes down to determining who acted in a negligent manner.

While both sides will provide their view of what happened, it will be important to obtain other evidence as well. Statements from witnesses to the accident could be very helpful in establishing liability. A Bensalem car accident lawyer may even conduct further investigation into the PA accident.

Consult a Bensalem Car Accident Lawyer for Help with a PA Case

When a driver has struck a pedestrian, the injuries are oftentimes serious. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2011 there were 147 pedestrian fatalities in Pennsylvania.

The top three counties in which pedestrians were killed:

  • 30 in Philadelphia County;
  • 12 in Montgomery County; and
  • 10 in Bucks County.


If there is any question as to who might have been at fault, individuals who have been involved in a pedestrian accident can secure legal representation with Bensalem car accident lawyer who can assist with the PA case.