Washington DC Rules of the Road for Pedestrians

In the event that you are walking anywhere around Washington DC you are automatically at higher risk of being involved in an accident.

Pedestrian CrosswalkWashington DC Pedestrian Crosswalk LawsUnfortunately, despite the fact that being a pedestrian has become very popular over the last several years not just for commuting purposes but also for health and Recreation purposes many Vehicle drivers are not aware of their surroundings and may become involved in an accident with you relatively quickly.

Knowing what to do in this situation in the most appropriate way to protect yourself is extremely important. There are several different rules of the road that pedestrians should be aware of in this situation. These include the following different regulations that affect both cyclists and pedestrians in DC.

Crosswalks Without Signals

In this situation where there is a crosswalk without any signals, the vehicle driver needs to stop and give right of way to a pedestrian crossing the street on any unmarked or marked crosswalk at an intersection. A motorist may not stop or park in a crosswalk either. Of course, pedestrians and DC should always be mindful of traffic in the area even when they have the right of way.


On the sidewalk, pedestrians always have the right of way. It is prohibited for any vehicle driver to park on the sidewalk. When driving over the sidewalk at any driveway or alley way, it is important that the vehicle driver stops for pedestrians.

Crosswalk Definition

Illegal crosswalk is referred to as an intersection of two or more roadways whether or not it has been appropriately marked. Pedestrians have the same rights and unmarked crosswalks and marked crosswalks in Washington DC.

Right Turn on red

Any pedestrian who was in the crosswalk has the right of way for a vehicle turning right on red. A vehicle must yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Turning on Green

When a pedestrian who has already started crossing the appropriate walk signal, he or she maintains the right of way when compared with any driver of any vehicle. The Pedestrian has the right of way to get to the safety island or the opposite sidewalk, whichever is closest.


Speed is something that must be maintained safely by all motorists in Washington DC so as to avoid colliding with any vehicle or person including pedestrians on the street. Each person must exercise a duty of care to everyone else.

Pedestrian Controlled Signals

Those pedestrians that are currently facing a walk signal are allowed to move across the roadway in the direction of that signal and maintain the right of way. However, pedestrians cannot start to cross the road in the middle of a wait or don’t walk signal.

Pedestrians on Roadways

In any situation where sidewalks have been provided, it is illegal for a pedestrian to walk on or along and adjacent roadway. If the sidewalk has not been provided, however, The Pedestrian walking on the street or Highway you should only walk on the left side of the roadway or the shoulder that is facing traffic which can approach from the opposite direction. It should also be noted that pedestrians are prohibited from walking on specified highways.

Crossing at Spots Outside of Crosswalks

If a pedestrian she is just across the road at any point outside of a marked crosswalk such as at an intersection, The Pedestrian is responsible for yielding the right-of-way to any vehicle.

Controlled or Uncontrolled Intersection Stops

Pedestrians are allowed to cross the street within an unmarked or marked crosswalk but no pedestrian can leave a safety platform, loading platform, curb or safety zone suddenly to walk or turned directly into the path of a vehicle in close proximity such that the driver cannot yield.

Diagonal Crossing

Pedestrians are prohibited from crossing the roadway intersection in a diagonal manner unless authorized by official traffic control devices.

Following these tips can not only help protect you from being involved in an accident but it can also help to build better cooperation between drivers and pedestrians in Washington DC.

Get Help from Washington DC Pedestrian Accident Attorney at DC Today

Do your part to decrease accidents in this area. If you have already been hurt in a pedestrian accident and don’t know what to do next to protect yourself, consult with an experienced DC pedestrian accident lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation.

Get the facts on pedestrian accidents in the DC area: What You Need to Know About Pedestrian Accidents in Washington DC

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