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Pedestrian Rights and Duties-Cases Summarized By Personal Injury Attorney

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Summarizes Pedestrian Rights and Duties Cases

Brien Roche

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Pedestrian Rights and Duties. For more information on pedestrians see the pages on Wikipedia. 

Pedestrian Rights and Duties-Statutes

 

See Va. Code §§ 46.2-923 through 46.2-926.

Pedestrian Rights and Duties-Cases

1993 Carson v. LeBlanc, 245 Va. 135, 427 S.E.2d 189.

Where pedestrian steps into path of moving vehicle that is readily observable generally this is negligence per se. When pedestrian looks for approaching vehicles she is presumed to have seen what she should have seen had her observance been careful and attentive. Unless there is some circumstance or condition to excuse her, failure to see vehicle constitutes negligence as matter of law.

1981 Basilotta v. Barker, 222 Va. 683, 283 S.E.2d 220.

Pedestrian crossing with traffic light in his favor has right-of-way and motorist has duty to permit pedestrian to cross safely. Contributory negligence of pedestrian held question for jury.

1977 Virginia Farm Bur. Ins. Co. v. Simpkins, 217 Va. 611, 231 S.E.2d 226.

Plaintiff’s decedent in fulfilling duty to remove loose calf from highway was inhibited by unpredictable movements of calf and was not pedestrian within meaning of statute.

1976 Whitting v. Doxey, 217 Va. 482, 230 S.E.2d 251.

Reference to § 46.1-231 [now § 46.2-924] as to right-of-way of pedestrians.

1975 Straughan v. Nash, 215 Va. 627, 212 S.E.2d 280.

Plaintiff’s decedent guilty of contributory negligence as matter of law for attempting to walk across highway in front of oncoming traffic, dangerously close and in full view.

1973 Schutt v. Brockwell, 214 Va. 38, 196 S.E.2d 921.

Trial court properly refused instruction that told jury that motorist has superior right-of-way over pedestrian between intersections. Motorist or pedestrian has no right-of-way over other except as provided by statute.

1968 Johnson v. Wilmoth, 209 Va. 82, 161 S.E.2d 682.

Plaintiff had duty to exercise reasonable care for her own safety where, while walking on shoulder of roadway, she saw headlights of vehicle approaching.

1967 Dickenson v. Tabb, 208 Va. 184, 156 S.E.2d 795.

If way appears clear, pedestrian may cross. Negligence of pedestrian is usually jury issue.

1966 Phillips v. Stewart, 207 Va. 214, 148 S.E.2d 784.

Plaintiff struck in clearly marked crosswalk; had right-of-way; nonetheless, he had no right to walk in front of traffic dangerously close to him. Since he saw defendant’s car slow down while some distance away, he justifiably thought it was going to stop and was under no duty to keep it under continuous watch. Question was one for jury.

1966 Shelton v. Mullins, 207 Va. 17, 147 S.E.2d 754.

Motorist has right-of-way over pedestrian between intersections and may assume no pedestrian will cross there, but defendant could no longer make such assumption if she saw child in or near street.

1964 Speer v. Kellam, 204 Va. 893, 134 S.E.2d 300.

Plaintiff was walking on right side of road with no sidewalks present. This constituted negligence per se.

1963 Smith v. Spradlin, 204 Va. 509, 132 S.E.2d 455.

Center of city or town street is not to be considered as comparative zone of safety.

1961 Brown v. Arthur, 202 Va. 624, 119 S.E.2d 315.

It is duty of pedestrian to cross street only at right angles. If pedestrian crosses street diagonally, this is negligence. If pedestrian chooses to cross street between intersections, he is required to use greater care for his own safety than when he crosses at place provided for pedestrians. Fact that there are no marked crosswalks does not qualify duty of pedestrians to cross there. In absence of statutory provision to contrary, rights of motorists and pedestrians are equal and their duties are mutual and reciprocal, i.e., neither one has right-of-way over other.

1959 Sanford v. Mosier, 201 Va. 358, 111 S.E.2d 283.

Accident did not occur in business or residential district, therefore right of plaintiff and defendant to use highway is equal.

1959 Lindberg v. Goode, 200 Va. 784, 108 S.E.2d 364.

Pedestrian who is within couple of paces of safety cannot ignore that position of safety and turn back into lane of oncoming car.

1959 Swindall v. Fuller, 200 Va. 581, 106 S.E.2d 608.

Right of pedestrians and motorists to use highway are equal and their duties are mutual and reciprocal except in places where favored positions are assigned to one or other by law. Pedestrian’s duty is to await passing of those vehicles that are approaching so near or at such rate of speed that person exercising reasonable care for his own safety would not attempt to cross.

1958 Cook v. Shoulder, 200 Va. 281, 105 S.E.2d 860.

Person is presumed to have seen that which he should have seen had his observation been careful and attentive. In this case motorist testified to having seen pedestrian 100 feet away. Pedestrian being visible to motorist, surely motor vehicle must have been visible to pedestrian.

1958 Tolston v. Reeves, 200 Va. 179, 104 S.E.2d 754.

Pedestrian is required to exercise reasonable care in crossing street. If he is crossing beyond intersection, reasonable care requires that he exercise greater degree of vigilance than if crossing at intersection.

1957 Arney v. Bogstad, 199 Va. 460, 100 S.E.2d 749.

Plaintiff alleged to have entered roadway when motorist had red light. If so, then plaintiff had right-of-way even though light changed to green while he was crossing.

1957 Burks v. Webb, 199 Va. 296, 99 S.E.2d 629.

When pedestrian crossing at intersection, it is duty of motorist to operate his vehicle in such manner as to avoid pedestrian.

1956 White v. Sands, 197 Va. 617, 90 S.E.2d 835.

Workman required to work on traveled portion of highway is not required to exercise same care or keep same lookout as ordinary pedestrian; he must, nevertheless, use ordinary care under circumstances. No evidence that deceased’s duties at time of accident required him to be on pavement.

1955 Hodgson v. McCall, 197 Va. 52, 87 S.E.2d 791.

Pedestrian struck crossing between intersections. Pedestrians, where possible, are supposed to cross at intersection. Pedestrian must exercise higher degree of vigilance when he crosses street between intersections than he is required to exercise when he crosses at intersections.

1955 Hopson v. Goolsby, 196 Va. 832, 86 S.E.2d 149.

Pedestrian rights and duties. Pedestrian who crosses at uncontrolled intersection has right-of-way during entire crossing. Pedestrian however must exercise reasonable care in process of crossing. Such reasonable care requires increased vigilance when crossing between intersections. When pedestrian approaches middle of street, pedestrian is under duty to look to right for oncoming traffic.

1954 Conrad v. Thompson, 195 Va. 714, 80 S.E.2d 561.

Pedestrian rights and duties. Plaintiff’s decedent, a pedestrian, was struck and killed on three-lane highway by vehicle operated by defendant. Pedestrian on entering highway is not required to await passage of all automobiles that may be in sight. His duty is to await passage of those which are so near or approaching at such rate of speed that person exercising reasonable care for his own safety would not attempt to cross.

1952 Bonich v. Waite, 194 Va. 374, 73 S.E.2d 389.

Wife of pedestrian owed to her husband duty to warn him of what she considered impending danger.

1952 Danner v. Cunningham, 194 Va. 142, 72 S.E.2d 354.

Pedestrian rights and duties. Pedestrian in crossing street at proper place has right-of-way during entire crossing. At uncontrolled intersections pedestrian was right to cross in priority to vehicles. Duty is to await passing of cars that are approaching so near or at such rate of speed that reasonable man would not attempt to cross.

1952 Pointer v. Green, 193 Va. 757, 71 S.E.2d 155.

Plaintiff struck in daytime in clearly marked crosswalk. Defendant stated he saw her in intersection and saw that she was not looking at him. Defendant owed her duty to yield right-of-way.

1951 Southern Ry. v. Callis, 193 Va. 28, 67 S.E.2d 879.

Pedestrian rights and duties. Plaintiff pedestrian struck by train. Plaintiff’s duty to exercise reasonable care to effectively look and listen for approaching trains as railroad track is proclamation of danger. Contributory negligence as matter of law.

1951 Reese v. Snelson, 192 Va. 479, 65 S.E.2d 547.

Pedestrian rights and duties. Pedestrian is not required to keep constant watch of oncoming cars.

1951 Lloyd v. Andrews, 192 Va. 41, 63 S.E.2d 734.

Walking on right hand side of road is negligence.

1950 Bryan v. Fewell, 191 Va. 647, 62 S.E.2d 39.

Pedestrian rights and duties. Motor vehicle struck plaintiff. Defendant driver saw plaintiff pedestrian stop and look directly towards his vehicle. If plaintiff carelessly undertakes to cross busy thoroughfare without looking, or if he looks, fails to see or heed traffic that is obvious and in dangerous proximity, and continues on into its path, he is guilty of negligence as matter of law.

1950 Manhattan For Hire Car Corp. v. Williams, 191 Va. 489, 62 S.E.2d 10.

Pedestrian rights and duties.Plaintiff pedestrian was struck by defendant’s taxicab while he was attempting to walk diagonally across street at night. Pedestrian is required to exercise greater degree of vigilance when he crosses street between intersections. Operator of motor vehicle is required to exercise greater degree of vigilance at crossing than he is required to exercise between intersections.

1950 Lambert v. Allen, 190 Va. 317, 57 S.E.2d 39.

Pedestrian rights and duties. Pedestrian who is walking in lane of traffic and sees fast moving oncoming car and another car approaching from opposite direction and should have seen that two cars would pass dangerously close to him is guilty of contributory negligence for remaining in that lane of traffic.

1949 Overton v. Slaughter, 190 Va. 172, 56 S.E.2d 358.

Pedestrian rights and duties. At uncontrolled intersections pedestrian has superior right to automobiles during entire crossing. This does not mean that he can proceed in open and obvious disregard of oncoming traffic.

1949 Rhoades v. Meadows, 189 Va. 558, 54 S.E.2d 123.

Pedestrian rights and duties and those of motorists to use highway are equal and their duties are mutual except in places where favored positions are assigned.

1948 Hooker v. Hancock, 188 Va. 345, 49 S.E.2d 711.

Pedestrian rights and duties. Reference made to center of street as zone comparative safety.

1948 Crouse v. Pugh, 188 Va. 156, 49 S.E.2d 421.

Pedestrian rights and duties.Walking on right shoulder. Defendant did not see plaintiff until six feet away. Last clear chance instruction properly given.

1948 Stark v. Hubbard, 187 Va. 820, 48 S.E.2d 216.

Pedestrian rights and duties.Pedestrian in crosswalk has right-of-way but is not entitled to exercise that right by advancing in front of approaching car dangerously near.

1946 Nelson v. Dayton, 184 Va. 754, 36 S.E.2d 535.

Pedestrian rights and duties.Although pedestrian may have right-of-way this does not give him right to cross in front of approaching vehicle.

1945 Bethea v. VEPCO, 183 Va. 873, 33 S.E.2d 651.

Pedestrian rights and duties.If pedestrians are crossing street at proper place, then they have right to cross in preference to vehicles. Pedestrian’s right-of-way extends from one side of street to other. At uncontrolled intersections pedestrians have superior right.

1944 Arlington & Fairfax Transp. Co. v. Simmonds, 182 Va. 796, 30 S.E.2d 581.

Pedestrian rights and duties.Plaintiff alighted from bus and was struck by it. It is negligence as matter of law to heedlessly step in front of moving bus.

1944 Clay v. Bishop, 182 Va. 746, 30 S.E.2d 585.

Plaintiff was leading horse on right side of road. Question of whether plaintiff was obliged to walk on left with horse was raised, but not decided.

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Pedestrian Rights and Duties-Cases Summarized By Personal Injury Attorney

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Contact Us For A Free Consultation