PED XING: Sharing the Road with Pedestrians

Sharing the road with Pedestrians

Pedestrian injuries and fatalities are on the rise. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2012 4,743 pedestrians were killed and about 76,000 were injured in traffic crashes. To help prevent these accidents, it is crucial for drivers to be mindful of the pedestrian crossing rules and drive cautiously.

Sharing the Road with Pedestrians: Crossing Rules

As a driver it’s important that you look out for pedestrians at all times, but you are also expected to obey the pedestrian crossing rules. Take a look at these right-of-way rules from the California DMV:

  • Always stop for a pedestrian crossing at corners or crosswalks, whether they are marked or unmarked.
  • Do not pass a vehicle that has stopped at a crosswalk. Stop, and then proceed when all pedestrians have crossed the street.
  • Do not drive on a sidewalk, except when entering or exiting a driveway or alley. Yield to all pedestrians before crossing the sidewalk.
  • Do not stop in a crosswalk.
  • If a pedestrian makes eye contact with you, he or she is ready to cross the street.
  • Allow older pedestrians, disabled pedestrians and pedestrians with young children sufficient time to cross the street.

5 Tips for Sharing the Road with Pedestrians

Pedestrians can be unpredictable, which makes it more important to use extra caution as a driver. A few safety reminders from the NHTSA include:

  • Approach crosswalks at a slower speed, and be prepared to stop.
  • Be extra cautious at night and in bad weather, 70 percent of the fatalities occurred between 6pm and 6am.
  • Follow the speed limit.
  • Drive slowly in school zones, especially when pedestrians are present.
  • Don’t drive under the influence.

Be careful when driving around pedestrians. Always be aware of your surroundings.


  1. California Department of Motor Vehicles. VC Section 21950 Right of Way at Crosswalks. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  2. NHTSA. Pedestrians. Retrieved February 23, 2015.