Do Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way In North Carolina?

Pedestrians have the right-of-way at unmarked and marked crosswalks situated in the business and residential areas except where there is a pedestrian signal or traffic. In addition, every car must yield to pedestrians at all crosswalks. However, when walkers are not using a marked or unmarked crosswalk at intersections, they must yield the right-of-way. In addition, they must yield the right-of-way if they are crossing the roadway and they are not using a pedestrian alternative like a bridge or a pedestrian tunnel that is built for them.

Making Right Turns On Red

At intersections, bicyclists and motorists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other vehicles when they are making a right turn on red.

Crossing Highways

When it comes to highways, the drivers have the right-of-way on every highway in NC. This is because people are not allowed to cross some roadways like interstate highways unless there is an emergency.

Blind Pedestrians

Any blind individual has the right-of-way at any intersection or crossing that is not signal-controlled or officer-controlled if they are using a guide dog or a white cane.

Must Walkers Use Sidewalks In NC?

People in NC must walk on the sidewalks that are present. However, if there are no sidewalks, people must walk or stroll on the left side of the road, while facing oncoming traffic.

Right Of Way Violations

If a negligent driver fails to follow the right-of-way laws in NC and hits a person who was walking, the driver will be held responsible for the injuries and the victim can file a personal injury claim against him or her. On the other hand, if a person who is walking violates the right of way laws, he or she will be held liable for the collision. If you have sustained injuries caused by a negligent driver and you want to receive compensation, contact a pedestrian accident lawyer in North Carolina. An experienced advocate there can examine all the facts in your case and determine who violated the right-of-way laws and advise you on the best legal action to take.

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Contributory Negligence In Right-Of-Way Laws In NC

NC applies the law of contributory negligence to personal injury cases. This means, if you are partially at fault for your injuries, you will not recover compensation. There are some cases where a walker may act in ways that may be considered contributory negligence include crossing highways, which is not permitted, expecting drivers to yield, crossing the road where there are no crosswalks, and crossing roads while your attention is elsewhere. Moreover, when you cross marked crosswalks when there is a “Do not walk” sign, you may be held partially responsible for any collision, and you will not get any compensation.


In conclusion, walkers have the right-of-way at marked crosswalks situated in the business and residential areas except where there is a pedestrian signal or traffic. Moreover, when a car has been stopped at an intersection crosswalk to allow people to cross, all other motorists or bicyclists approaching from behind are not allowed to pass or overtake the stopped vehicle.

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