Is it Illegal to Walk on the Highway in TN?
Pedestrian laws in the state of Tennessee are very detailed about how people can move around roadways, sidewalks, and crosswalks. The goal of these laws is to protect pedestrian safety, as well as promote the flow of traffic on the roadway.
Questions About Pedestrian/Vehicle Laws
Many individuals may have questions about the rights of pedestrians walking on and around roads. When do they have the right of way? When must they yield the right of way to traffic? Which side of the road should they walk along? What is the law about walking on the highway? What is a pedestrian crossing?
Hopefully, these questions will be answered for you below. Pedestrians have just as many rights as motorists do as they travel around, it just depends on where you are and what the rules of the road dictate.
When do Pedestrians Have the Right of Way?
In other words, when does a pedestrian who is crossing a roadway not have to wait for traffic? It depends on where you are. If you are at an intersection, automobiles must yield to you when you are in the crosswalk and the walk signal is lit up.
Pedestrians are supposed to move along the sidewalk unless there is a crossing area designated for them. If you attempt a crossing in the middle of the street with no crosswalks or walk signals to guide you, then the vehicle does not have to yield to you. This is often known as j-walking.
Which Side of the Road Do Pedestrians Walk Along?
The easy answer to this is to simply not be on the roadway at all. Stay on the sidewalk at all times if there is one. If there is no sidewalk, then the law states that you must move in the opposite direction of traffic on your side of the roadway. In other words, be on the left side of the road and face oncoming motorists.
This way you can see the vehicles that are closest as they come toward you and the driver will know that you are aware of them.
Can Pedestrians Walk on the Highway?
With roads that have controlled access such as interstates, pedestrians are not allowed to use them to get from place to place. An accident involving a pedestrian on a highway would be extremely dangerous because of the high speeds, so Tennessee law dictates that they cannot use access-controlled roadways.
However, some highways are not access-controlled, and pedestrians are allowed to be on those roads. They just have to follow the other rules of staying on the left side and using the shoulder when it is unobstructed.
What is a Pedestrian Crossing?
Pedestrian laws protect people from getting injured by automobiles, but they also allow pedestrians to cross intersections or roads at certain times. This is known as a crossing. Usually, it takes the form of a crosswalk where pedestrians can move at certain times when cars must yield to them, with either a stop light or “yield to pedestrians” sign. There are different types of crosswalks that you may encounter, from pedestrian scrambles to generic four-way squares, so make sure you are aware of how they work before attempting to cross.
What to do After a Pedestrian Accident?
Unfortunately, even with all the pedestrian and motorist laws in place, accidents will happen. Maybe someone crosses the street when they are not supposed to, or the driver does not yield the right of way to the people in the crosswalk when they cross. Whatever circumstances led to the incident, you may need a pedestrian accident attorney who knows the law in Tennessee to handle your case.
Guidance Through the Claims Process
Whether you are a pedestrian who was hit or a motorist that collided with a pedestrian, the claims process for damages is very complex. The law is very detailed around these matters, and you will need a representative on your side to defend your interests. Mitch Grissim & Associates is a law firm built on defending every pedestrian or vehicle driver who is involved in an accident, and we offer a free case evaluation for every potential client.
Pursuit of Compensation
If the accident was caused by the negligence of another, you may have the right to win a fair settlement for any damages accrued. These damages could include medical bills for injuries, lost wages for time missed at work, therapy during recovery, or even pain and suffering.
To cover these losses, you could file a claim. Your best chance of success is with a lawyer who understands how to compile evidence to strengthen your case. Evidence could be an accident report by a police officer, eyewitness accounts, CCTV footage, or pictures of the accident.
Peace of Mind
The aftermath of an accident can be very stressful. You may be overwhelmed by the shock of it and possibly even too traumatized to deal with a legal proceeding. No need to worry, because our team can handle the law-related details of your case and remove the extra burden from your shoulders.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Insurance providers of the at-fault party will often attempt to lowball an offer to the victim, hoping that they will accept it. But you deserve the full payout to cover your damages. Our team will negotiate with the insurance company to ensure that you are receiving the compensation that you deserve.
Contact Mitch Grissim & Associates
Whether you were hit attempting to cross an intersection or you were driving and ended up colliding with a pedestrian who crossed when they were not supposed to, you should only work with the most experienced attorneys for your case. We offer a free case evaluation so that you know what you are getting into.
Give our law office a call at 615-255-9999 for your free case evaluation and take the first step toward claiming compensation for damages today.