Pedestrians often have the right-of-way. It's important to understand your city's pedestrian laws.

Los Angeles Pedestrian Accident Laws to Be Aware Of

Over the past few years, car accidents have been a growing concern for pedestrians in Los Angeles. Data from the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System show that the number of pedestrian deaths in LA has increased since 2015, and from 2012 to 2016, more than 14,200 pedestrians were injured on LA city streets.

Just last month, 91-year-old actor Orson Bean was killed after being struck by two cars while crossing Venice Boulevard, a busy LA city street, on his way to a play.

Dangers that can result in pedestrian accidents include:

  • Distracted driving/walking: Texting or talking on the phone can distract anyone, pedestrians and drivers alike, and prevent them from seeing obstacles in front of them.
  • Left-hand turns: According to the Safety Resource Center, three times as many people get hit by cars turning left than those turning rights because drivers are typically busy working through the intersection to notice pedestrians walking across.
  • Improper lane usage: A majority of pedestrian accidents occur on city streets, as obstacles blocking the sidewalk can force pedestrians to walk on the road.
  • Arterial roads: Los Angeles is creating more multi-lane, high-speed roads to accommodate all the increasing traffic, which can be dangerous in a residential neighborhood where pedestrians are often walking and crossing the street.

A Guide to Important LA Pedestrian Laws

Drivers and pedestrians should update themselves on Los Angeles-specific pedestrian laws so they can understand who has the right-of-way in each situation.

Some LA laws include:

  • Pedestrians have the right-of-way in all intersections: Even at intersections where there is no crosswalk, drivers in California must yield to pedestrians at intersections. However, vehicle codes state that pedestrians also need to watch out for their own safety.
  • Pedestrians may legally walk in the street: If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians may walk in the street, but in the direction against oncoming traffic.
  • Pedestrians always have the right-of-way on sidewalks and while crossing an exit or entrance, such as a driveway or parking lot.
  • Drivers must obey the law and exercise due care: When approaching intersections, drivers must reduce their speed in order to prepare in case a pedestrian crosses the road.
  • Pedestrians are not allowed to jaywalk, or walk across the street where there is no designated crosswalk. Jaywalking in Los Angeles can subject pedestrians to fines up to $197.

Defending the Vulnerable Since 1994

For over 25 years, our personal injury attorneys have been committed to giving a voice to the defenseless through award-winning legal representation and effective solutions. Pedestrians are especially vulnerable, as they have no protection against the force of a car, motorcycle, bus, or truck. As a pedestrian following the law, you deserve to be able to walk across the street and around neighborhoods without fear of being injured. We can hold the negligent responsible for any damages such as hospital stays and surgeries, lost wages or income, and funeral costs. We can also help you file wrongful death claims if your loved one passed away in a pedestrian accident.

Call Tedford & Associates today at (626) 325-0142, or contact us online to speak with our professional pedestrian accident attorneys. Whether you’ve been injured or lost a loved one due to negligence, we want to help. We offer free consultations in English and Spanish.


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