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What are the rules for pedestrians in the road?

Pedestrian accidents often have tragic consequences, so it's critical for drivers and pedestrians alike to know the rules that govern their actions when someone is crossing the street.

In Oregon, if pedestrians are using a crosswalk, cars have to stop. They have to stay motionless as long as the people are in the car's lane, in the next adjacent lane or within six feet of the lane that the vehicle is using.

There is one exception to this, and it's when there is a safety island, and cars are driving on the opposite side of the road. They can continue moving while pedestrians cross the other lane.

Cars have to give pedestrians the right of way when people walk into marked crosswalks. However, pedestrians have to give the right of way to cars if they are not at a crosswalk. In short, if a pedestrian is crossing at a random point in the road without painted lines or signals, vehicles are not under any obligation to stop.

It's also illegal for a pedestrian to suddenly step out into the road when a car is approaching so fast that it could not stop in time to avoid an accident. This is even true at crosswalks. While pedestrians are protected, it's not true that drivers are always at fault if there is an accident. The sequence of events is critical.

As such, it's very important to know the law, your rights, and how the case will proceed if you've been involved in a pedestrian accident. You may be able to seek much-needed financial compensation for your medical bills, but you must understand exactly how the law pertains to the crash that occurred.

Source: NCSL, "Pedestrian Crossing: 50 State Summary," accessed Sep. 25, 2017

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