Know Your Rights As a Pedestrian

Portland, Oregon is a beautiful city with many bridges, parks, and markets that all offer wonderful sightseeing opportunities. With so many great places located close to each other, it’s easy to see why there are so many pedestrians taking to the streets of Portland. Yet with so many pedestrians sharing the road with cars, bicycles, buses, and other vehicles, there are bound to be accidents. Many pedestrians who are hit by bikers and motorists often don’t know their rights and may feel like the incident is their fault. Insurance companies will feed upon this and try to use your reluctance and embarrassment to avoid paying you a fair settlement.

If you are a pedestrian and have been in an incident with a motorist or bicycle, you need to contact a skilled lawyer who can fight for your rights and ensure you get the settlement you deserve. Read this post to learn your pedestrian rights and some of the dangers you should be aware of before hitting the streets.

Pedestrian Rights & Responsibilities

There are many situations in which pedestrians have the right of way, yet pedestrians are also “required to act in a safe manner” in order to facilitate their and motorists’ safety. Pedestrians need to remain constantly aware of drivers and make their own intentions clear.

Pedestrians can have the right-of-way to cross any road, with or without a crosswalk, yet first they must “show intent to cross by extending part of their body, wheelchair, cane, crutch or bicycle into the roadway,” according to Portland's Bureau of Transportation. This means that until you have “activated” your right as a pedestrian, drivers might not be aware that you are crossing the road and may not stop for you.

Also, as a pedestrian, you need to allow drivers enough time and distance to stop for you before crossing. Darting into the road in front of speeding traffic does not give you the right-of-way.

Lastly, follow the crossing signals at marked intersections. If you see a flashing or solid hand, it is no longer legal for you to enter the crosswalk.

As a pedestrian you are not required to carry identification or identify yourself as long as you are acting in a lawful manner.

Crossing the Road

When a pedestrian is crossing the road, there are important rules that drivers should know to ensure pedestrian safety. Every intersection in the road, whether marked or unmarked with a crosswalk, is considered a pedestrian crosswalk.

When crossing a traffic controlled intersection (an intersection with a light), drivers must stop and remained stopped until the pedestrian has left their lane and is 6 feet or more into the next lane. On an intersection that is not marked by a traffic signal, Portland's Bureau of Transportation says the driver must stop and remained stopped until the pedestrian is through the “lane into which the vehicle is turning or continuing as well as the entire next lane over.”

Steps To Stay Safe

Whether you are walking to and from work or just for leisure, there are many steps you can take to increase your visibility and stay safe on the road.

Always try to wear bright or reflective clothing and carry a flashlight or other type of illuminating device to make yourself visible at night. Make sure to turn down your earphones while walking so that you can hear traffic and potential dangers.

When crossing a street, always wait to make eye-contact with the driver - especially one who has stopped to make a turn. When walking along a roadway always try to travel against the direction of traffic so that you can observe the oncoming flow of vehicles. Stay alert, and when crossing multiple lanes of traffic always check each new lane for traffic before continuing across.

If you are in an accident with a bicycle or motorist on the road, you should obtain all the same information from the driver that you seek if you were in a car crash. Then immediately seek the medical attention and contact a lawyer who knows your rights and will fight to make sure that you receive your due compensation in court.

Adam Greenman began his career as a Deputy District Attorney in Multnomah County where he distinguished himself as a skillful trial lawyer and a tireless advocate for justice. Now he brings this expertise to his private practice, using his experience and determination to achieve justice for each individual client.

Call today for a free consultation: 503-227-3800