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The Rules of the Road for Pedestrians and Vehicle Drivers


Yesterday evening I read a news story about a tragic accident in Utah involving a motorcyclist hitting a 6-year-old boy (click here to read). As a car accident lawyer, I frequently come across news stories like these, but they don’t get easier to read, and they’re never anything but heartbreaking. My heart goes out to the child’s family and loved ones.

There are of course clear rules in place, for both pedestrians and motor vehicle operators, designed to help avoid such tragedies. My work involves helping to ensure that they are observed. Here is a brief summary of the applicable rules:


  1. If there is a sidewalk you should use it; do not walk in the road! Utah Code § 41-6a-1009(1).
  2. If there is not a sidewalk, you should be on the shoulder as far away from the road as possible. Utah Code 41-6a-1009(2).
  3. You should only cross the street at designated crosswalks and street corners.
  4. If you cross in the middle of a block, you are required to yield the right of way to vehicles operating properly on the street. Utah Code § 41-6a-1003(2); Utah Code § 41-6a-1009(6).
  5. You are required to obey all traffic-control devices specifically applicable to you. Utah Code § 41-6a-1001.
  6. You should not run or dart across the street ever, especially when cars are nearby. Utah Code § 41-6a-1002(1)(a).


  1. When pulling and/or backing out of your driveway, you are required to stop your vehicle immediately prior to crossing the sidewalk and check your surroundings. Utah Code § 41-6a-907; Utah Code § 41-6a-1008.
  2. You are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians in the crosswalk. Utah Code § 41-6a-1002(1)(a).
  3. You are required at all times to operate the vehicle with care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian, especially when you observe a child near the road. Utah Code 41-6a-1006(1)(a), (c).

At Cutt, Kendell & Olson, we frequently represent pedestrians injured by motor vehicles. If you or someone you care about are injured by a car while walking, please call us today for a free consultation at (801) 901-3470.

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