Watch For Pedestrians

Your mother always told you to look both ways. Good advice, but that’s just the beginning. Whether you’re hoofing it to work, going for a jog or just taking a leisurely stroll, there’s a lot you can do as a pedestrian to protect yourself. Always obey the rules of the road. Make sure others see you. And, most importantly, watch for cars, bikes and other vehicles – because they might not be watching for you.


Be Safe


Always use sidewalks when available.

If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic and as far from the roadway as you can.

Obey all pedestrian traffic signals.


Runners are pedestrians: run against the flow of traffic, cross at crosswalks, obey traffic signals, and wear reflective gear.

Crossing the street:

Use crosswalks wherever possible. If you don’t see one – yield to traffic.

Cross in well-lit areas with the best view of traffic.

Don’t cross mid block or diagonally.

Make sure each lane of traffic is clear before you cross.

At a bus stop: cross behind the bus or in the crosswalk.

Pay attention to cars turning.

Be Visible

Make drivers see you: carry a flashlight, wear reflective gear, walk in well lit areas.

Stand clear of parked cars, buses, hedges, and other obstacles before crossing the street.

Watch for Me!

Pay attention and avoid distractions like cell phones and music players. You need the ability of your two key senses, seeing and hearing, to detect cars.

Watch for cars backing up in parking lots and driveways. Brake lights may mean that a car is about to back up.

Know your surroundings. On a blind curve or steep hill, walk along the outer curve to see oncoming traffic and be visible to drivers.

Look left, right, and left again. Look for cars in all directions.

On a sharp corner with limited visibility (blind curve) or a steep hill, it’s safer to walk along the outer corner rather than to say in the inner corner, even though this is opposite of the rule to face traffic when walking. In the inner corner, you won’t be able to see upcoming traffic and it won’t see you. Cross the road at a safe distance from the curve, walk along the outer curve, and cross back again at a safe distance. You should be extra careful during this segment, because drivers may not expect pedestrians on the right side of the road.

Don’t assume vehicles see you. In fact, it’s safer to assume they don’t!

(Adapted from Bike Walk CT’s “Give Respect, Get Respect.
Share the Road, Connecticut”



Pedestrians have the right of way in marked and unmarked crosswalks, meaning cars must yield (slow or stop) for pedestrians, wherever they are in the crosswalk. A pedestrian is considered in the crosswalk once they step off of the curb.

State law requires pedestrians to use crosswalks when they are provided.

It is unlawful to cross a street outside of a crosswalk if the pedestrian is between two signalized intersections.

At crosswalks with pedestrian signals, state law requires that pedestrians obey the “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” indicators in the same way a driver must obey red or green lights.

If the pedestrian began crossing during the “Walk” signal, they have the right of way over all cars, including those turning right on red, until they complete the crossing.

When NOT at an intersection or marked crosswalk, pedestrians must yield the right of way to all vehicles.


State law requires pedestrians walking along the road to use sidewalks when available.

When sidewalks are not available, pedestrians are to walk to the far left edge of the road facing traffic. Walking in this direction gives pedestrians the best view of traffic.

Cars may not pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk if that car is stopped to let pedestrians cross.

When cars are crossing a sidewalk, they must yield to all pedestrians and other traffic on the sidewalk.

Pedestrian Behavior

Pedestrians cannot dart/dash out in front of cars (giving them insufficient time to stop) or walk in the road under the influence. This protects drivers who are traveling at a reasonable speed and obeying laws from being at fault if a person’s actions prevent the driver from taking actions to avoid a crash.


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