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Do drivers always have to yield to pedestrians?

When you are driving in Louisiana, you may encounter pedestrians often, especially when you are in cities or residential areas. Most busy intersections in cities have traffic signals and signs that indicate when you need to stop your vehicle to yield to a pedestrian. However, it is not always as clear in residential neighborhoods or on rural roads. You may have a hard time determining who has the right-of-way when there are no active traffic signals.

The Louisiana State Legislature provides details on the sections of the traffic code that apply to interactions between drivers and pedestrians. According to this governing body, you must always give the right-of-way to a pedestrian who is in a crosswalk in places where there is no functioning traffic signal. This statute includes crosswalks that are in your path on the road where you are driving as well as those on a road you want to turn onto.

However, there are some situations that do not require you to give a pedestrian the right-of-way when you are driving. The law says that pedestrians who cross a road outside of a crosswalk must yield to vehicles. Pedestrians have a responsibility to use crosswalks where they exist and to avoid stepping out suddenly in front of oncoming vehicles.

The Louisiana law states that you have a responsibility when you are driving to exercise "due care." Essentially, you must drive cautiously and do everything possible to avoid colliding with pedestrians, even those who are not following the parts of the traffic code that apply to them. You may use your vehicle's horn to warn pedestrians of your presence when necessary.

This information on laws governing drivers and pedestrians is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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