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California Pedestrian And Crosswalk Laws You Need To Remember

Updated: Sep 26

California Crosswalk Laws And Other Relevant Things You Need To Know


In many pedestrian incidents, the vehicle will bear at least some blame, but there are situations when a pedestrian can be held accountable for the damage they incurred. Pedestrians who breach traffic laws, just like drivers, may be held liable for their role in the accident.

Remember, filing claims for California pedestrian accidents means you need to prove that the other party is at the very least partially responsible. Hence, knowing the most critical pedestrian laws beforehand will help you preserve your future claims.


Pedestrians must establish that someone else is to blame for their injuries to receive compensation for their injuries in a pedestrian accident. This usually entails demonstrating that they did not break state or municipal pedestrian regulations.


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Relevant California Crosswalk Laws You Need To Know


If you're thinking about submitting a claim, here are a few California pedestrian laws to be aware of:

  • According to California law, drivers must surrender the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the roadway at a designated or unmarked crosswalk. Crosswalks at junctions and select specified mid-block crossings are examples of this.

  • On the other hand, Pedestrians must be aware of their own safety. Pedestrians, for example, should not enter the street in front of a moving car. Pedestrians should also avoid halting amid a crossing or otherwise slowing down traffic.

  • State statutes require automobiles to slow down and "take all due care when approaching pedestrians at designated or unmarked crosswalks."

  • According to the California Vehicle Code, pedestrians must surrender the right-of-way to all cars in a roadway unless they are at a marked crosswalk or at a traffic intersection.

  • If a pedestrian is intoxicated and obstructs a street, sidewalk, or intersection, they can be charged with a misdemeanor under California's disorderly conduct legislation.

Even if you think you're partially at fault, you can still pursue pedestrian accident settlements in California. Experienced California personal injury attorneys know their way around the law. They will be able to help you recover damages to help you recover from the financial and emotional losses you sustain.


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California's Laws on Jaywalking

In California, jaywalking is prohibited. Multiple regulations exist in the state that govern jaywalking and what a pedestrian may and may not do when crossing the street. If you plan on walking or jogging in California, you should be aware of these regulations:

  • Jaywalking is prohibited by California Vehicle Code Section 21955. It specifies that a pedestrian may not cross a road other than a crosswalk between adjacent junctions supervised by lights or police personnel.

  • If a pedestrian is on the road somewhere other than a crosswalk or junction, California Vehicle Code Section 21954 provides that the pedestrian must cede the right-of-way to close enough vehicles to pose an imminent hazard. However, this regulation also states that a driver's refusal to yield does not absolve them of the responsibility to exercise reasonable care for the pedestrian's safety.

  • When a sidewalk or crosswalk is present, no pedestrian may walk on the road, according to California Vehicle Code Section 21956. If a pedestrian must walk on the road, they must stay as near as possible to the right-hand edge of the road. A pedestrian who walks along the middle of the road breaks the law.

Following these traffic restrictions and paying attention to one's surroundings is essential for pedestrian safety in California. If pedestrians disobey the regulations and cross the road illegally, they may face various penalties.

Contact a pedestrian injury lawyer in California ASAP if you've been injured in a recent accident.


What if You're Jaywalking and Got Hit by a Car?

The most serious danger of jaywalking is being hit by a car, not a traffic citation. If a Pedestrian in California does not follow traffic laws and rights-of-way restrictions when exploring on foot, they risk serious injury. Likewise, Jaywalking puts you in danger of colliding with an oncoming car.

Because California is a comparative negligence state, you may be able to recover at least a portion of a monetary award from another party even if you contributed to your own injuries. So even if you were jaywalking, the driver could be partially accountable for your accident if they were breaking a traffic law, driving drunk, or texting while driving.


If you are hit by a car while jaywalking in California, you must work with experienced Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyers. To assist you in recovering financial compensation, your attorney can acquire proof of a driver's share of fault.


California Pedestrian Safety Tips


Here are some fundamental safety guidelines so pedestrians stay safe:

  1. Follow the road rules and follow all signs and signals.

  2. When sidewalks are available, take advantage of them.

  3. Keep your eyes and ears open and avoid being distracted by mobile devices.

  4. When possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections.

  5. If you can't find a crosswalk or an intersection, look for a well-lit place with a good view of traffic.

  6. Keep yourself visible at all times. During the day, wear bright clothing, and at night, wear reflective materials or use a flashlight.

  7. Keep an eye out for cars pulling into or out of driveways and cars backing up in parking lots.

  8. When walking, stay away from drink and drugs because they damage your abilities and judgment.

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