CALL NOW  (302) 658-1717

Delaware Pedestrian Traffic Right-of-Way Laws

In the last 10 years, there’s been a large increase in the number of pedestrian accidents in Delaware as well as the number of fatal pedestrian accidents. In 2009, there were 277 pedestrian accidents in Delaware, 14 of which resulted in fatalities. In 2019, there were 387 pedestrian accidents (40% increase), 32 (113% increase) of which were fatal. *Source: 2009 and 2010 Delaware State Police Statistical Reports

The significant increases in the number of pedestrian accidents and pedestrian deaths remind us that we must be aware of pedestrians on the road and practice safe driving at all times.

Delaware Pedestrian Traffic Laws

1. Pedestrians Walking on a Sidewalk

Under Delaware law, pedestrians have the right of way when walking on a sidewalk. 21 Delaware Code § 4151. Pedestrians’ right-of-way on sidewalks: “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian on a sidewalk.”

Pedestrians walking on a sidewalk tend to get hit by drivers exiting and entering driveways, parking lots, etc. For example, a driver exiting a shopping mall driveway and trying to turn left may not be paying attention to a pedestrian approaching the driveway on the sidewalk. Even at low speeds, a pedestrian accident can result in broken limbs. For instance, leg, knee and ankle injuries are common.

2. Pedestrians Walking in a Crosswalk

In addition, pedestrians have the right-of-way when in crosswalks. Under 21 Delaware Code § 4142, drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing a street when in a crosswalk. Drivers must either slow down or stop to allow a pedestrian to cross the street. This law also makes it clear that drivers cannot overtake and pass other cars which are stopped at a crosswalk.

21 Delaware Code § 4142.  Pedestrians’ right-of-way in crosswalks:

(a) When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation or when the operator of a vehicle is making a turn at an intersection, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.

(b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

(c) Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply under the conditions stated in § 4143(b) of this title.

(d) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

Common Pedestrian-Intersection Accident Scenario

A common pedestrian intersection accident scenario involves a car, truck or bus which is attempting to turn and strikes a pedestrian. Drivers turning right often do not see pedestrians who are either already in the crosswalk or stepping off the curb. This also applies to drivers turning left. Learn about Delaware law and left hand turn intersection accidents.

During times of heavy traffic such as rush hour or during periods of low visibility such as at night and during wet weather conditions, pedestrian accidents are much more likely to occur. Also, drunk driving and distracted driving like using a cell phone or eating also result in pedestrian accidents.

Related articles:

Delaware Car & Truck Accident Lawyer with Over 40 years of Experience

Since 1982, Martin Knepper has served residents of Delaware in all personal injury matters, including car accidents and truck accidents. Contact our accident lawyers today and ask for a free consultation. (302) 658.1717

Our lawyers serve residents throughout the Delaware area, including: Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Middletown, and Smyrna. We also represent residents of other states such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia who are injured in car or truck accidents while in Delaware. For more information, please contact us.

*Disclaimer: Every case is unique and you should not take any action or make decisions in your case without speaking to a qualified car and truck accident lawyer in Delaware. This website page does not provide any legal advice or create any attorney-client relationship. Use of the contact form on this website or emailing one of our lawyers does not create any attorney-client relationship. In addition, confidential information should not be sent through the contact form.

Page last reviewed and updated: November 28, 2020

Rated for
The National Top 100 Trial Lawyers

CALL 302-658-1717

    *Free consultation for Delaware personal injury or auto injury cases. No attorney-client relationship is created by use of this contact form. Read disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

    Auto Law Articles


    “I was in for the fight of my life, against a large company. By myself, I didn’t have chance, but having E. Martin Knepper…I was able to persevere.”
    -Kay O.

    “Exceeded my expectations!”

    See more reviews.

    Attorney Ratings

    E. Martin Knepper Avvo Rated

    Knepper Stratton National Trial Lawyers Top 100

    Knepper Stratton Top 10 Trucking Trial Lawyers 2018 Truck Accident Attorney Academy Knepper Stratton 2018 2019

     Delaware Trial Lawyers Barbara Stratton