Maine Pedestrian Accidents Caused by Failure to Yield to Pedestrian Crossing in an Area Without Crosswalks

Pedestrians are often forced to cross a roadway outside of a marked crosswalk. Often, a crosswalk simply does not exist on the roadway. Other times, walking across the crosswalk is rendered impossible due to some obstacle or exigent circumstances. Sometimes, the pedestrian simply elects to cross the roadway outside of the crosswalk out of convenience or necessity. Of the nearly 5,000 fatal pedestrian accidents occurring each year, thousands involve pedestrians crossing the road outside the crosswalk.

While pedestrians are legally required to cross within crosswalks whenever possible, motorists have a duty to exercise due care to avoid collision with pedestrians, and an obligation to give a warning by sounding the horn when necessary. As such, many motorists can be found negligent for failing to yield to pedestrians crossing in an area without crosswalks.

Maine’s Laws Concerning Yielding to a Pedestrian Crossing Outside a Crosswalk

ME-29-A MRS § 2056 sets out various pedestrian safety regulations. Maine law requires that pedestrians walk on the sidewalk whenever possible. When sidewalks are not provided, pedestrians may walk facing traffic on the left side of the road or in the shoulder when possible. Motorists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians on the sidewalk. Additionally, motorists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing in a marked crosswalk, when traffic control devices are not in operation.

Pedestrians, however, must yield the right-of-way to a vehicle if they are crossing the road in a way other than within a marked crosswalk.

Pedestrians are prohibited from crossing between adjacent intersections at which traffic control devices operate, except in the marked crosswalk. Further, pedestrians cannot cross the way diagonally or suddenly leave the curb and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that will have no opportunity to yield.

In addition to the above safety regulations, Maine law also sets out a due care requirement, which states that all operators of motor vehicles shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian and should give a warning horn if necessary. Proper caution should be exercised when a motorist observes a child pedestrian, or an incapacitated or intoxicated adult.

Further, all drivers must yield to the right-of-way of visually impaired pedestrians carrying a cane or using a guide or personal care dog. Failure to do so can result in fines.

Establishing Negligence When a Pedestrian is Hit Crossing Outside the Crosswalk

Though pedestrians are expected to yield the right of way to traffic when crossing outside the crosswalk, the operators of motor vehicles have a duty to exercise due care to avoid collision with a pedestrian. As such, if a pedestrian is crossing a roadway that does not have a crosswalk, and a motorist suddenly approaches and hits the pedestrian, that motorist may be found negligent.

Negligence is a complex issue, and can be particularly so in incidences involving accidents outside the crosswalk. Both pedestrians and drivers must exercise reasonable care, and it will be up to the court to determine what role each party played in the accident.

Maine is a comparative negligence state, in which the plaintiff’s fault for the accident will not operate as a far to recovery. Rather, a plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault.

Peter Thompson & Associates: Tackling Even the Most Complex Pedestrian Accident Cases

If you have been injured while crossing the road, the Maine law firm of Peter Thompson & Associates will provide the zealous, experienced, and intelligent representation you need to obtain a maximum recovery. Our pedestrian accident attorneys have decades of experience in the field, and can tackle even the most complex of accident cases. Call us today at 1 800.804.2004 to schedule an initial consultation.

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