Crosswalks exist at every intersection in Nevada whether they are marked or not, and drivers are required to yield to pedestrians on these crosswalks. If an automobile hits a pedestrian, he/she may be able to file a Nevada pedestrian knockdown lawsuit for:
- medical bills in Nevada,
- lost wages in Nevada,
- lost earning capacity in Nevada,
- pain and suffering in Nevada, and/or
- possibly Nevada punitive damages
Even if the pedestrian partially caused the accident by jaywalking or crossing while the "Don't Walk" sign is flashing, the driver could be held liable if he/she was at least half at fault.
In this article, our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys discuss Nevada crosswalk rules and laws:
- 1. Definition of crosswalks in Nevada
- 2. Rules for pedestrians
- 3. Rules for drivers and bikers
- 4. Filing a lawsuit for a crosswalk crash
- 5. Lawsuit damages
- 6. Crosswalk injuries and fatalities
Crosswalks are narrow areas perpendicular to a street where pedestrians may cross that street. Many crosswalks have traffic signals indicating when exactly pedestrians may cross the road.
Crosswalks are in every intersection in Nevada. Some of these crosswalks are "marked" using white bars in accordance with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The unmarked crosswalks are called "implied crosswalks" (as discussed in the next subsection).
A few roads have crosswalks in the middle of the street, not just at the street corners: These crosswalks are always marked.1
"Implied crosswalks" are unmarked crosswalks that exist at every intersection between the ends of two sidewalks.
In short, there is a crosswalk at every street corner. Some are marked, and the unmarked ones are "implied." Both marked and implied crosswalks are treated the same under Nevada traffic laws.2
Pedestrians have the right-of-way at crosswalks, whether marked or unmarked. However, pedestrians do have to abide by certain rules:
- Pedestrians may not suddenly leave a curb and dart into a crosswalk when an oncoming vehicle is so close that it may be impossible for the driver to yield.
- When the "Don't Walk" indication is illuminated, pedestrians who are already on the crosswalk may finish crossing. But pedestrians on the curb may not begin crossing.3
- Pedestrians must walk on the right half of crosswalks whenever practicable.4
- Pedestrians may not cross an intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices.
Pedestrians who cross a street outside of a marked or unmarked crosswalk must yield to vehicles; in other words, the vehicles have right-of-way outside of crosswalks.
Note that pedestrians who enter the roadway outside of crosswalks face citations for the Nevada crime of jaywalking (NRS 484B.287).5
It is also a misdemeanor in Nevada for pedestrians to either:
- walk on a road when a sidewalk is provided
- stand on a road to hitch-hike or panhandle
- be on a road while under the influence of alcohol or drugs6
Drivers are required to yield to pedestrians at both marked and unmarked crosswalks. Therefore, cars, motorcyclists, and bikers are required to slow down to a stop at crosswalks when pedestrians are crossing. Drivers face misdemeanor charges for failing to yield to a pedestrian in Nevada (NRS 484B.283).
If a pedestrian crosses half the road and is safely on a center median, drivers on the side of the road that the pedestrian finished crossing may continue driving without yielding. (This rule is not written in a statute, but it is widely acknowledged by law enforcement.)
Even if a pedestrian is unlawfully on the roadway outside of a crosswalk, drivers are required to exercise caution to avoid a collision and honk the horn if necessary. Being safe trumps having the right-of-way.7
Note that blind pedestrians always have the right-of-way, and drivers are required to yield to them when they enter the roadway.8
See our related article on Nevada bicycle safety laws.
If the driver was on duty at his/her job at the time, the pedestrian ("plaintiff") may also be able to sue the driver's employer for respondeat superior in Nevada. And if the pedestrian died in the crash, his/her estate and family can bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Nevada.
There is typically a two (2) year statute of limitations in Nevada to bring a personal injury lawsuit following the accident. But there may be exceptions depending on the situation.10
People injured in a crosswalk car accident may be entitled to receive Nevada compensatory damages to cover their:
- medical bills
- lost wages
- loss of future earnings
- pain and suffering
If the case goes to trial (which happens rarely), the judge might impose punitive damages as well for the purpose of punishing the defendant.11
If the plaintiff may have contributed to the accident -- such as by being inebriated or acting carelessly -- the plaintiff may still be eligible for damages. Under Nevada's comparative negligence laws, victims may still recover some money as long as the defendant was at least 50% responsible for the injuries.12
Some crosswalk accidents are wholly the pedestrian's fault. For instance if a pedestrian runs out into the street with no warning while an oncoming car is close, the driver may have a claim against the pedestrian if the driver ends up swerving and hitting a tree for example.
Between 2013 and 2017, pedestrian crashes in Nevada resulted in 789 serious injuries and 393 deaths.13
Pedestrian-related crashes comprise 42% of all traffic-related deaths in the state. And many of these deaths occur at stop-controlled intersections.14
Following a crash between an automobile and a pedestrian, the pedestrian always loses. This is especially true if the automobile is a truck or other large vehicle. Common injuries include:
- broken bones
- organ damage
- serious bruises
- burn injuries in Nevada
- traumatic brain injury in Nevada
- spinal injuries in Nevada
Call a Nevada personal injury attorney...
Injured at a Nevada crosswalk? Call our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys for a FREE consultation at 702-333-3673. Our goal is to recover all the money available to help cover your expenses and punish the culprit. We can usually resolve lawsuits through a settlement and without a trial. And we take no money unless we win your case for you. (For cases in California, please see our page on crosswalk and pedestrian laws in California).
NRS 484A.065 “Crosswalk” defined. “Crosswalk” means:
1. That part of a highway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway measured from the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traveled portions of highways; or
2. Any portion of a highway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.
- Information on Crosswalks, Clark County; Rio Lacanlale, "Man dies after being hit in 'implied crosswalk' in Las Vegas," Las Vegas Review-Journal (July 5, 2017).
- NRS 484B.283 Right-of-way in crosswalk; impeding ability of driver to yield prohibited; overtaking vehicle at crosswalk; obedience to signals and other devices for control of traffic; additional penalty if driver is proximate cause of collision with pedestrian or if violation committed in pedestrian safety zone.
1. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 484B.287, 484B.290 and 484B.350:
(a) When official traffic-control devices are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be so to yield, to a pedestrian crossing the highway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the highway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the highway as to be in danger.
(b) A pedestrian shall not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.
(c) Whenever a vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle until the driver has determined that the vehicle being overtaken was not stopped for the purpose of permitting a pedestrian to cross the highway.
(d) Whenever signals exhibiting the words “Walk” or “Don't Walk” are in place, such signals indicate as follows:
(1) While the “Walk” indication is illuminated, pedestrians facing the signal may proceed across the highway in the direction of the signal and must be given the right-of-way by the drivers of all vehicles.
(2) While the “Don't Walk” indication is illuminated, either steady or flashing, a pedestrian shall not start to cross the highway in the direction of the signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed the crossing during the “Walk” indication shall proceed to a sidewalk, or to a safety zone if one is provided.
(3) Whenever the word “Wait” still appears in a signal, the indication has the same meaning as assigned in this section to the “Don't Walk” indication.
(4) Whenever a signal system provides a signal phase for the stopping of all vehicular traffic and the exclusive movement of pedestrians, and “Walk” and “Don't Walk” indications control pedestrian movement, pedestrians may cross in any direction between corners of the intersection offering the shortest route within the boundaries of the intersection when the “Walk” indication is exhibited, and when signals and other official traffic-control devices direct pedestrian movement in the manner provided in this section and in NRS 484B.307.
2. If, while violating paragraph (a) or (c) of subsection 1, the driver of a motor vehicle is the proximate cause of a collision with a pedestrian, the driver is subject to the additional penalty set forth in subsection 4 of NRS 484B.653.
3. A person who violates any provision of subsection 1 may be subject to the additional penalty set forth in NRS 484B.135.
- NRS 484B.293 Direction of movement on crosswalk. Pedestrians shall move whenever practicable upon the right half of crosswalks.
- NRS 484B.287 When pedestrian must yield right-of-way to vehicle; when crossing at crosswalk is required; crossing diagonally; additional penalty if violation occurs in pedestrian safety zone.
1. Except as provided in NRS 484B.290:
(a) Every pedestrian crossing a highway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the highway.
(b) Any pedestrian crossing a highway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the highway.
(c) Between adjacent intersections at which official traffic-control devices are in operation pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.
(d) A pedestrian shall not cross an intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices.
(e) When authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic-control devices pertaining to such crossing movements.
2. A person who violates any provision of this section may be subject to the additional penalty set forth in NRS 484B.135.
Fennell v. Miller, 94 Nev. 528, 583 P.2d 455 (1978)(Lexis overview: "A pedestrian crossing a highway at any point other than an intersection or a marked crosswalk has a statutory duty to yield the right-of-way to all vehicles on the highway. A pedestrian with such a duty has a corresponding duty to look in the direction or directions of anticipated danger, and to continue to be alert to safeguard against injury.").
- NRS 484B.297 Walking along and upon highways; solicitation of ride, business or contribution from driver or occupant of vehicle prohibited in certain circumstances; intoxicated pedestrian prohibited within traveled portion of highway; applicability to riders of animals; applicability where sidewalk is obstructed; penalty.
1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 6, where sidewalks are provided, it is unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent highway.
2. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 6, pedestrians walking along highways where sidewalks are not provided shall walk on the left side of those highways facing the approaching traffic.
3. A person shall not stand in a highway to solicit a ride or any business from the driver or any occupant of a vehicle. A person shall not, without a permit issued pursuant to NRS 244.3555 or 268.423, solicit any contribution from the driver or any occupant of a vehicle.
4. It is unlawful for any pedestrian who is under the influence of intoxicating liquors or any narcotic or stupefying drug to be within the traveled portion of any highway.
5. The provisions of this section apply to riders of animals, except that the provisions of subsections 1, 2 and 3 do not apply to a peace officer who rides an animal while performing his or her duties as a peace officer.
6. A pedestrian walking or otherwise traveling on a sidewalk who encounters an obstruction to his or her mobility on the sidewalk, including, without limitation, a short section of the sidewalk that is missing or impassable, may proceed with due care on the immediately adjacent highway to move around such an obstruction. Such a pedestrian:
(a) Must walk or otherwise travel as far to the side of the highway near the sidewalk as possible;
(b) May walk or otherwise travel on the highway in the direction he or she was walking or traveling on the sidewalk, regardless of the direction of traffic;
(c) May walk or otherwise travel in a lane provided for bicycles or electric bicycles if the area between the lane and the sidewalk is impassable; and
(d) Must return to the sidewalk as soon as practicable.
7. A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.
- NRS 484B.280 Duties of driver of motor vehicle to pedestrian; additional penalty if driver is proximate cause of collision with pedestrian or if violation committed in pedestrian safety zone.
1. A driver of a motor vehicle shall:
(a) Exercise due care to avoid a collision with a pedestrian;
(b) Give an audible warning with the horn of the vehicle if appropriate and when necessary to avoid such a collision; and
(c) Exercise proper caution upon observing a pedestrian:
(1) On or near a highway, street or road;
(2) At or near a bus stop or bench, shelter or transit stop for passengers of public mass transportation or in the act of boarding a bus or other public transportation vehicle; or
(3) In or near a school zone or a school crossing zone marked in accordance with NRS 484B.363 or a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
2. If, while violating any provision of this section, the driver of a motor vehicle is the proximate cause of a collision with a pedestrian, the driver is subject to the additional penalty set forth in subsection 4 of NRS 484B.653.
3. A person who violates any provision of subsection 1 may be subject to the additional penalty set forth in NRS 484B.135.
- NRS 484B.290 Right-of-way of person who is blind; penalty.
1. A person who is blind and who is on foot and using a service animal or carrying a cane or walking stick white in color, or white tipped with red, has the right-of-way when entering or when on a highway, street or road of this State. Any driver of a vehicle who approaches or encounters such a person shall yield the right-of-way, come to a full stop, if necessary, and take precautions before proceeding to avoid a crash or injury to the person.
2. Any person who violates subsection 1 shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 6 months or by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500, or by both fine and imprisonment.
- Anderson v. Baltrusaitis, 113 Nev. 963, 944 P.2d 797 (1997)("[T]he fact that respondent was not speeding or violating other traffic laws at the time of the accident does not preclude a finding that respondent's actions constituted a breach of his duty of care.").
- NRS 11.190.
- NRS 42.005.
- NRS 41.141; Turnbow v. Wasden, 608 F. Supp. 237 (D. Nev. 1985)(Lexis overview: "In a tort claim action by a plaintiff pedestrian struck by a truck when she walked across a highway, the plaintiff was not entitled to recover damages where the driver had slowed his speed to 50 mph and moved to the center lane after seeing a parked truck, and the pedestrian, while under the influence of alcohol, failed to look in both directions before attempting to cross. The pedestrian's negligence contributed more to cause the action than any negligence by the driver.").
- Nevada Department of Public Safety Zero Fatalities.
- Safety and Guidelines for Marked and Unmarked Pedestrian Crosswalks at Unsignalized Intersections in Nevada, NDOT Research Report (September 2012).