When you’re driving in New York, the expectation is that you will drive at the correct speed for the conditions. If there are pedestrians around you, then that means that you should be slowing down and focusing on the road to prevent a collision if someone enters your path.
Right-of-way rules are common sense in the state, asking that drivers yield to pedestrians who are in the process of legally crossing the street. If a pedestrian is already in the roadway up ahead, then you should be taking steps to slow down and stop.
Do you have to stop for a pedestrian when there is no traffic control signal?
Yes. When there is no traffic control signal, you need to yield to the right-of-way of a pedestrian in a crosswalk even if you don’t have a red light or stop sign. This is on top of the requirement to stop and yield to the right-of-way of any pedestrian using a white or metallic cane or crossing with a guide dog.
When no crosswalk is present, pedestrians should yield to drivers. That being said, if a pedestrian is already in the roadway and crossing when a driver approaches, they should allow them to cross.
What should you do if you’re involved in a crash due to failing to yield?
Failing to yield is a crime in and of itself, but if someone has been hurt, you may face further penalties. Call 911 right away to seek medical care for the injured pedestrian.
If you’ve been charged with failure to yield under any circumstances, be prepared to assert a solid defense to protect your future interests.