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When do drivers have to yield to pedestrians in Mississippi?

A pedestrian is standing at an intersection on a busy road in Biloxi. There is no traffic signal and no crosswalk painted on the road. Seeing a small break in traffic flow, the pedestrian carefully steps into the road and begins to cross.

A driver approaches, and seeing the pedestrian in the road, slows down. He then blares his horn and yells at the pedestrian to get out of the road.

Who is in the wrong in this situation?

According to Mississippi traffic laws, the pedestrian has the right-of-way in this situation, and the driver had a duty to slow down, whether he liked it or not.

That is because pedestrians within a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection have the right-of-way, and drivers must yield to them. In fact, drivers in both lanes must yield, not just the lane in which the pedestrian is in.

You may be thinking, what is an unmarked crosswalk? Generally, an unmarked crosswalk is present at all intersections that do not have painted crosswalks.

Pedestrians do not have the right-of way and must yield to vehicles when they are crossing the road outside of a marked or an unmarked crosswalk. They also are prohibited from stepping out in front of a car that is too close to have enough time to yield.

Don't just assume that drivers will yield

Of course, this isn't to say that pedestrians should assume that drivers will follow the law. Pedestrians should always make eye contact with drivers before crossing to make sure that the drivers see them and will actually yield.

With distracted driving being such a problem, this is more important than ever.

Anytime a pedestrian accident occurs, police will investigate who had the right-of-way and drivers who failed to yield according to the law could face criminal charges. They could also face liability in personal injury claims.

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