Bikers and Pedestrians vs. Autos: Who Has The Right of Way?

Austin Dallas Texas

— by Nick Reed

When you're on the road, there is inevitably other traffic - cars, bicyclists and runners to name a few.  When traffic comes together, there are rules of the road for who has the right of way in each scenario.  Here are some quick reminders about who has the right of way when:


If you are bicycling on the roadway, you have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers.  You should remember to obey the laws of the road as though you are in a car.  For example, you must stop at red lights and stop signs as if you are driving a car.  You should ride in the same direction as traffic.  And, when you want to make a turn, remember to use proper hand signals.

If you are being passed by traffic, stay to the right and give as much room as possible.


When you are walking, and there is a sidewalk, use it! Unlike bicycling, if there is no sidewalk, walk in the direction of traffic; on the left side of the road.

If you are crossing a roadway, and there is a marked crosswalk, use it! Drivers must yield to pedestrians in a marked crosswalk.

If you want to cross the street, but there is not a marked crosswalk, Texas laws recognize "unmarked crosswalks."  An unmarked crosswalk is an intersecting street where there is no marked crosswalk.  It's a vague and broad definition, but Texas laws recognize that vehicles must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, marked or unmarked.

If you attempt to cross the street outside of a marked or unmarked crosswalk, then you must yield the right of way to vehicles.

In short, remember that if you are a bicycle rider, act like a car, and if you're a pedestrian, stay off the street, cross at crosswalks, and in any circumstance, be conservative in your interactions with vehicles.


If the unfortunate accident occurs, the at-fault party is liable for the damages and injuries of the victim. So, if a driver disregards the right of way of a pedestrian or bicyclist, that pedestrian or bicyclist may have a claim for his or her personal injuries and damages against the driver.