What is Georgia Law When You’re Hit by a Car?

crosswalk types

One of the biggest challenges when you are hit by a car while walking in Atlanta is overcoming everyone’s (the police officer’s, the other driver’s and the jury’s) tendency to blame you for walking around cars. But that is not the pedestrian law in Georgia. Georgia changed its laws in 1995 so that drivers must stop and not just “yield” to people walking in crosswalks.

Below we are going to walk you through the Georgia laws the apply to pedestrians and that will apply to your case if you have been run over by a car.

Right of Way in Crosswalks

It’s illegal in Georgia for a driver to drive around, attempt to squeeze through, or cut off a person walking in a crosswalk. Georgia drivers must come to a complete stop! Drivers must:

  • STOP when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk ANYWHERE on the driver’s side of the road
  • STOP when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk and is within 1 lane of coming onto the driver’s side of the road

Here’s the actual Georgia law on crosswalks.

O.C.G.A. § 40-6-91. Right of Way in Crosswalks:
(a) The driver of a vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching and is within one lane of the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For the purposes of this subsection, “half of the roadway” means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel.

(b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield.

(c) Subsection (a) of this Code section shall not apply under the conditions stated in subsection (b) of Code Section 40-6-92.

(d) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

Georgia Jaywalking Law or Crossing Outside a Crosswalk

First, you need to know “jaywalking” does not mean anything under Georgia law. The word never appears in any Georgia law nor is it defined anywhere. People use the word to mean illegally walking outside a crosswalk. It is perfectly legal for you to cross a street outside a crosswalk so long as you yield to traffic.

That being said, there are a couple of finer points for figuring out whether you were legally crossing the street outside of a crosswalk when you were hit by a car:

  • It IS ILLEGAL to cross the road at anywhere other than an intersection where you are crossing on a road where there are traffic light intersections on both sides (adjacent) to where you are crossing.
  • You must cross the street straight across in the shortest distance possible. You can’t cross diagonally.

Here’s the Georgia law on crossing a street outside a crosswalk.

O.C.G.A. § 40-6-92. Crossing roadway elsewhere than at crosswalk:
(a) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway unless he has already, and under safe conditions, entered the roadway.

(b) Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway if he uses the roadway instead of such tunnel or crossing.

(c) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation, pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.

(d) No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices. When authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic-control devices pertaining to such crossing movements.

What’s a Crosswalk Under Georgia Law?

Everyone knows that a crosswalk is the path across an intersection that has the white ladder lines. But did you know that a crosswalk technically exists at most intersections even where there aren’t those lines?

Here’s the law.

O.C.G.A. § 40-1-1.(10) Definition of a Crosswalk:

“Crosswalk” means (A) That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway measured from the curbs or in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traversable roadway; or (B) Any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.

Our Firm Fights for Pedestrian Accident Victims

When you are walking and get hit by a car, it is never good in terms of getting hurt. We can’t make your injuries go away or go back in time to stop the driver from not yielding. But we can help you get the money you need (and are entitled to under Georgia law) to get you back on track.

Our pedestrian accident attorney has experience helping innocent pedestrians who have been hit by cars. Call us for a free consultation, or to talk about any of the laws you have just read about, at 404-919-9756 or submit a case evaluation form.