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Can drivers turn through a crosswalk as someone uses it?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2022 | Serious Personal Injury |

Drivers are supposed to give way to someone who is in the crosswalk. This comes naturally for drivers who are approaching that crosswalk directly, but those who are turning right or left may need to drive through it in order to turn on to the next road. For them, it’s critical that they check the crosswalk first to make sure that it’s not in use.

But what if someone is crossing the road and they’ve made it halfway across. Can a driver who is going to turn still make that turn while the person is in the road, or are they supposed to wait until they’re all the way across to begin their turn?

Pedestrian safety comes first

According to the law in Louisiana, drivers are simply expected to yield the right-of-way to people who are in the crosswalk. But the law doesn’t state how far away that individual needs to be at the time. It merely says that the person’s safety must come first because the driver has to yield the right-of-way. If the driver can turn before the pedestrian reaches them or turns after they have walked far enough that they’re out of the way, the driver has still yielded the right-of-way to the pedestrian. They don’t have to wait until the second that they step up on the other curb.

Of course, it is still important for drivers to err on the side of safety and not to rush pedestrians or try to squeeze through when they’re too close to make that turn safely. But a driver who is turning onto a four-lane street doesn’t have to wait for the pedestrian to walk 100 feet before they can turn.

If you were crossing the street and you were hit by a negligent driver who didn’t yield the right-of-way, you might be able to seek significant compensation.