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Scenario:

  • There is a controlled crosswalk.
  • The walking sign is on.

Rather than cross the street via the path, you cross adjacent to it OR you cross at an angle initially and enter the path.

If a car is driving through the crosswalk at this time, do you have right-of-way?

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  • Jurisdiction matters here, which country you're discussing? – Peteris Mar 17 '20 at 10:30
  • USA.This happened to me actually. I was crossing the street at an angle towards the crosswalk, so I wasn't on the crosswalk. The signal said walk, and a car drove through the crosswalk and bumped into me. – confusedpanda1 Mar 17 '20 at 10:32
  • The regulation of road traffic is a matter of state law in the United States. In what state did this occur? – phoog Mar 17 '20 at 12:46
  • In Ohio, the crosswalk does not only include the area marked as such: codes.ohio.gov/orc/4511. Depending on where you actually walked, you may have been in the crosswalk all along. – phoog Mar 17 '20 at 23:20
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i was hit the other day when crossing. the walk signal was on, but i was crossing at an angle towards the crosswalk. the car bumped into me slowly so the driver would have seen me. was i wrong?

It will depend on the exact state law - but in New Jersey for example assuming you weren't actually on the crosswalk when you were hit you would be jaywalking and would be required to yield right-of-way to the vehicle (emphasis mine):

Always cross at corners, within marked crosswalks where available.

If crossing in other locations, yield the right of way to vehicles. Failure to obey the law carries a $54 fine (court costs additional; C.39:4-32, 33)

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  • this was ohio. i read that when the signal say walk, i can walk across the roadway. didnt see a distinction about within the lines or not – confusedpanda1 Mar 17 '20 at 14:14
  • @confusedpanda1 Nope - in Ohio I believe the same applies, if you are outside a marked crosswalk you have to yield to drivers not the other way around. – motosubatsu Mar 17 '20 at 14:36
  • @confusedpanda1 the law almost certainly says you must cross in a crosswalk when you get the walk signal. You were likely jaywalking. – Andy Mar 17 '20 at 18:16
  • @Andy but a jaywalking pedestrian is not a free target for the driver of a motor vehicle. Even if the pedestrian is crossing illegally, the driver has an obligation to "exercise due care" to avoid hitting the pedestrian (at least in New York). – phoog Mar 17 '20 at 23:04
  • @phoog Sorry, but where did I say they were free targets? Whether or not the driver has an obligation not to hit a pedestrian does not make the jaywalkers actions legal. Depending on the local law, they may also be considered at fault when determining liabilities because they broke the law. – Andy Mar 17 '20 at 23:06
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Pedestrians always have right if way

Hit a pedestrian - go to jail. Unless it was impossible to avoid the collision such as a pedestrian suddenly stepping out within the car’s best stopping distance and assuming the driver was driving to the conditions (not doing 100 in a 50 zone).

The pedestrian can be booked but they still have right of way.

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  • i was hit the other day when crossing. the walk signal was on, but i was crossing at an angle towards the crosswalk. the car bumped into me slowly so the driver would have seen me. was i wrong? – confusedpanda1 Mar 17 '20 at 10:26
  • @confusedpanda1 the USA is weird - everywhere else it’s the driver’s responsibility to never hit a pedestrian – Dale M Mar 17 '20 at 10:39
  • @DaleM that's true in the US, too. Why would you think it isn't? – phoog Mar 17 '20 at 12:44
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    I wouldn’t say they have the right of way - but you are not allowed to drive into pedestrians whether they have the right of way or not. – gnasher729 Mar 17 '20 at 15:00
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    This is wrong. A driver is obligated not to hit a pedestrian, but that does not always give them the right of way. It may be that both parties are ruled at fault. And i think there are actually some states that have a "first one to break the law loses " law, but i don't know how that would affect things. Certainly in my state there have been cases of drivers not being charged fir hitting a pedestrian because the pedestrian broke the law and there was no way for the driver to react in time. – Andy Mar 17 '20 at 18:19

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