Rules of the Road for Nevada Pedestrians

Each year, hundreds of pedestrians are seriously injured in collisions. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 88 pedestrians died in Nevada in 2021. Given the increased weight of motor vehicles, even a collision at low speeds can have devastating consequences for pedestrians, who are completely unprotected. At Ladah Law Firm, we promote pedestrian safety so that everyone—motorists and pedestrians alike—know the rules of the road. Please call our firm if you were injured in a Las Vegas pedestrian accident.

Pedestrians walk the street of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Pedestrians Should Use the Sidewalk (NRS § 484B.297)

If a sidewalk is available, pedestrians must use it. In fact, it is illegal to walk on or near the highway.

If there is no sidewalk, then you can walk beside the highway but facing oncoming traffic. This provides a clear view of the cars which are more likely to hit you.

If you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you shouldn’t be anywhere on a highway.

Pedestrians can briefly enter the road if something obstructs them on the sidewalk, or some of the sidewalk is missing or impassable. You must use due care and immediately get back on the sidewalk when you can.

Where Pedestrians Should Cross a Street (NRS § 484B.287)

Pedestrians should cross at a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection and nowhere else. If they cross somewhere else, they must yield the right of way to vehicles on the highway.

Pedestrians also should not cross diagonally at an intersection unless it is authorized.

Crossing the Road as a Pedestrian (NRS § 484B.283)

Pedestrians must observe traffic control signals:

  • “Walk”: a pedestrian facing an illuminated walk sign can cross the road in the crosswalk.
  • “Don’t Walk” or “Wait” flashing with a timer: you can cross the street but must do so before the timer gets to zero.
  • “Don’t Walk” or “Wait” steadily illuminated: pedestrians cannot proceed across the road, but someone who was already in the crosswalk may continue to cross.

These rules make sense. If the timer is approaching zero and you know you can’t get across in time, you shouldn’t step off the curb.

You should also walk on the right-hand side of the crosswalk, which helps them avoid colliding with each other (NRS § 484B.293).

Yielding the Right of Way

Traffic signals should tell motorists when to stop and pedestrians when to cross. If a motorist has a red light, then the pedestrian is crossing because the traffic control signals have told them to. A motorist obviously cannot run a red.

However, the rules are sometimes complicated if there are no traffic control devices. What then?

Under NRS 484B.283, a motorist must yield the right of way when a pedestrian is in the crosswalk and on the half of the road in which the car is traveling, or when the pedestrian is so close that an accident might happen.

In this situation, pedestrians shouldn’t run into the road suddenly and cross the path of a car so that an accident is unavoidable.

Motor Vehicle Drivers Must Use Care

NRS § 484B.280 clearly states that motorists must use due care to avoid a collision with a pedestrian. Furthermore, they should use the horn to provide a warning to pedestrians, if necessary to avoid a crash. And the law states that motorists should exercise caution when observing a pedestrian:

  • On or near a road, street, or highway
  • Near a bus stop or shelter
  • In the act of boarding a bus or other public transportation
  • In a school zone or school crossing

Put simply, drivers need to do more than be careful when a pedestrian is in the crosswalk. They need to carefully observe anyone who might run into the road from nearby.

Failure to Follow the Rules Leads to Accidents

Too many pedestrians are injured when negligent motorists refuse to use due care. Unfortunately, they run a red light, make an illegal turn, or pass much too closely to a pedestrian who is lawfully in the crosswalk.

At the same time, some pedestrians undercut their legal case by violating the rules themselves. They might throw themselves into the road when the “Don’t Walk” sign is steady, or they try to cross when there isn’t enough time. Sadly, some injured pedestrians were jaywalking when they were struck.

Hurt in a Wreck? Contact Ladah Law

Violating these rules can impact your personal injury case, making it harder to receive compensation you deserve. Please contact our firm to discuss your case, (702) 252-0055. We excel at gathering evidence to minimize your own negligence, which makes receiving a settlement possible.