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West Virginia Crosswalk Laws

May 24, 2021 | Laws

It is crucial for everyone in West Virginia to understand crosswalk laws and other laws related to pedestrian safety. Pedestrians are incredibly vulnerable when they are in or around the roadway. The human body is not designed to withstand an impact from a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds moving at any rate of speed. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure pedestrian safety on the roadway, not just drivers and not just pedestrians. It is teamwork.

Pedestrians and Right-of-Way in Crosswalks

When we look at the law in West Virginia, we will see that pedestrians are generally required to use crosswalks when they are available. Additionally, pedestrians must follow any traffic signals that accompany these crosswalks. When a pedestrian fails to use a crosswalk when one is available or if they fail to follow the signals at a crosswalk, this could result in serious injury or death. Additionally, the improper use of crosswalks or crossing signals by the pedestrian could take away any right they have to pursue a pedestrian accident claim against another driver.

Drivers and Right-of-Way in Crosswalks

Motorists in West Virginia frequently encounter pedestrians when they are behind the wheel. Pedestrians are always somewhere around, whether that be on sidewalks, exiting their vehicles, in the parking lot, walking in or out of their driveway, etc.

Motorists in West Virginia need to understand that pedestrians have the right of way in many circumstances. Specifically, motorists are required to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks when there is a signal or sign that dictates when pedestrians can and cannot pass. However, pedestrians do not always have the right away in these situations. If there is a crosswalk that contains traffic signals for pedestrians and the motorist has the right of way, then the motorist can proceed forward. However, if a motorist proceeds are a crosswalk against what the sign or signal says and strikes a pedestrian, they could be held at fault for causing any injuries or deaths that occur.

One of the most common accident scenarios at crosswalks includes drivers approaching a crosswalk that does not have a light. In most scenarios, there will be a sign it says that drivers must yield to any pedestrians wishing to enter the crosswalk. However, it is not uncommon for drivers to simply keep going – they ignore the pedestrians waiting to cross. In an ideal scenario, the pedestrians would simply wait for the traffic to clear if they think a motorist is not going to stop. However, that is not always what happens. Anytime a motorist sees a crosswalk with pedestrians waiting to cross, they should stop and let the pedestrians pass.

How an Attorney Can Help

If you or somebody you love has been injured in a crosswalk accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual, you need to turn to a Martinsburg accident attorney as soon as possible. A skilled personal injury lawyer can use their resources to conduct a complete investigation into the incident. They will obtain any evidence needed to prove liability and handle all communication with other parties involved. This will include negotiation with insurance carriers and at-fault drivers in an effort to secure adequate compensation for their client. If the other parties fail to offer a fair settlement, an attorney will fully prepare to take a case to trial to ensure their client is treated fairly.