Pedestrian Duties


Virginia law requires a pedestrian crossing the street must be careful to avoid a pedestrian accident.

Virginia law states that:

"A pedestrian has a duty to use ordinary care when he/she is walking on a hard surface (traveled portion) of a roadway:

  1. to keep a lookout for motor vehicles;
  2. to refrain from entering or crossing an intersection in disregard of traffic approaching in such a manner that a reasonable person would not attempt to enter or cross; and
  3. to step from his/her course into a place of safety if it reasonably appears to him/her that he/she is in danger of being struck by a motor vehicle."

Even if a pedestrian has the right-of-way, he must still be careful to prevent an accident.

A Pedestrian's Duty When Walking Along A Street or Highway

Virginia law states that when a pedestrian is walking along the side of a roadway where there is no sidewalk, the pedestrian must walk in the direction facing oncoming traffic - never walk with traffic approaching from your back:

"If there is a reasonably suitable and passable sidewalk, a pedestrian has a duty to use the sidewalk.

If there is no such sidewalk, a pedestrian may walk along the hard surface of the roadway, but he/she has a duty to keep to the extreme left side/against the curb [a driver's left is a pedestrian's right], except that where the shoulders of the roadway are of sufficient width to permit the pedestrian may walk on either shoulder."

This is a good rule to follow to avoid personal injury.

"Walk" and "Don't Walk" Signals

Virginia law states that a "pedestrian has a duty not to start to cross a highway/street in the direction of a "Don't Walk" signal. In addition, a pedestrian has a duty, if he/she partially has completed crossing on a "Walk" signal, to proceed to a sidewalk or safety island while the "Don't Walk" signal is showing.

To avoid being injured, always keep a lookout for oncoming cars, who may not be watching out for you, the pedestrian, crossing the street.

Virginia Pedestrian Accident Free Consultation

Woodbridge, Virginia pedestrian accident lawyer Gerald Schwartz has 30 years experience helping people seriously injured in pedestrian accidents in Manassas, Virginia and all over Prince William County. He has been selected for inclusion in Virginia Super Lawyers (only 5% of lawyers are selected) since 2007.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a Virginia pedestrian accident, call Gerald Schwartz at (703) 690-0055 for a free consultation to learn your options.