The definition of “pedestrian” under California state law

If you were asked to define pedestrians, you would more than likely reply that they are individuals who are walking on a sidewalk, in a crosswalk, or along a roadway. However, the state of California has a much broader definition with respect to who is considered a pedestrian.

The definition of “pedestrian” under California state law


According to the California Vehicle Code 467, a pedestrian is “any person who is afoot or who is using a means of conveyance propelled by human power other than a bicycle.” In addition, the California Vehicle Code also includes in the definition of pedestrian any person who is operating a wheelchair (self-propelled), invalid tricycle, motorized quadricycle, or on crutches, and, by reason of a physical disability, is otherwise unable to move as a pedestrian. 

A person who is using a conveyance such as a skateboard, roller skates or blades, scooters, (not electric), skis, and ice skates is also considered to be a pedestrian.

Although drivers and pedestrians are both charged with a duty to exercise ordinary care, the duty of care required of a driver is greater because, as the driver of a vehicle on a public highway, he or she has the potential for inflicting injury or death on a pedestrian.

When it comes to a pedestrian vs bicyclist, the rules are very clear — bicyclists must follow most of the same rules of law as drivers of motor vehicles.  This means that a bicyclist can be held responsible for striking a pedestrian with her bicycle, just as a driver of a car would be held responsible.

Were you involved in an accident?

The state of California’s pedestrian and crosswalk laws dictate where and when individuals can legally walk in public. Together with the definition of pedestrian in California, these laws are significant in personal injury cases involving a pedestrian because they can alter the percentage of fault assigned to each person involved in an accident. Ultimately, who is at fault will be determined by each set of unique circumstances. 

The compensation that a pedestrian who has been injured in an accident receives could be reduced as a result of California’s comparative fault rules if both the victim and the defendant were found to have shared fault for the accident.

If you have been injured in a pedestrian-related accident, contact Roberts | Jeandron Injury Attorneys, Orange County pedestrian accident attorneys, to schedule a free case evaluation.

Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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