According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 150 pedestrians were killed in 2015. This is the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities since 2007 when 171 pedestrians died.

The State of Illinois has several laws governing what a crosswalk is, who has right of way, and what parties are responsible for different types of crosswalks.

Defining a Crosswalk

Illinois recognizes pedestrian crosswalks as designated areas between roads that may or may not be marked by the lines or signs. If a sidewalk is intersected by a street, it is understood that this is a crosswalk, even if there are no other indicators. Crosswalks can appear along other portions of roads, but they must be marked.

A personal injury lawyer can help better identify what is considered a crosswalk according to the law. In the event a pedestrian is injured or killed while crossing a street, the law will seek to identify fault, as they would in any other kind of car accident. Whether the pedestrian was in a crosswalk will be considered when assigning fault.

When a Pedestrian Has Right of Way

Pedestrians have the right of way in several scenarios.

  • Any pedestrian who is already in the crosswalk has the right of way.
  • If a pedestrian is given the walk sign by a light or guard, even if they are not yet in the crosswalk, cars must yield.
  • At a stop sign, pedestrians have the right of way based on the same rules as cars. If they arrive at the stop first, they have the right of way. They then get a turn based on the same rules that determine which car has right of way at the stop sign.
  • If a car stops and gives a pedestrian the right of way, all other cars must stop too.

They do not have the right to walk out into a crosswalk without ensuring their own safety first.

When a Driver Has Right of Way

Cars have the right of way in any other scenario. However, drivers are expected to exercise due caution to protect pedestrians. When uncertain who has the right of way, it is best to exercise caution and allow the pedestrian to cross.

A personal injury lawyer can help better understand the laws about the right of way at a crosswalk.