Michigan Crosswalk Laws: Know Your Rights as a Pedestrian

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As a pedestrian, crossing the road might seem like a simple and routine task. However, it’s essential to remember that road safety is a shared responsibility between drivers and pedestrians. Michigan, like every other state, has specific laws in place to protect pedestrians and ensure their safety while crossing roads. Understanding these laws can empower you to make informed decisions, especially if you’ve been in a pedestrian accident. In this blog post, we’ll explore Michigan’s crosswalk laws and shed light on the rights and responsibilities pedestrians hold under these regulations.

Crosswalks Defined

First and foremost, let’s clarify what constitutes a crosswalk. In Michigan, a crosswalk is any portion of the roadway designated for pedestrian crossing, whether marked with painted lines or unmarked. This means that even if there are no visible markings on the road, pedestrians still have the right to cross at intersections and street corners.

Right-of-Way at Crosswalks

Michigan law stipulates that motorists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are within a marked or unmarked crosswalk. This means that if you, as a pedestrian, are at the crosswalk, drivers are legally obligated to stop and allow you to cross safely. It’s crucial to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you before crossing, as this further enhances your safety.

Midblock Crosswalks

While crosswalks are commonly found at intersections, Michigan law also protects pedestrians at midblock crosswalks. A midblock crosswalk is a marked crossing point on a street or road away from any intersections. In such cases, motorists must still yield to pedestrians who are crossing within the designated area.

No Jaywalking Allowed

Although pedestrians have the right-of-way at crosswalks, they also have responsibilities for their safety. Jaywalking, which is crossing the street outside of marked crosswalks or against traffic signals, is not only illegal but also hazardous. Pedestrians are encouraged to use designated crosswalks whenever possible to ensure their safety and the smooth flow of traffic.

Pedestrian Signals

In Michigan, some intersections have pedestrian signals that indicate when it’s safe to cross. As a pedestrian, it’s vital to obey these signals for your safety. When the “WALK” signal is displayed, it means you have the right-of-way, and drivers must stop to let you cross. On the other hand, when the “DON’T WALK” signal is flashing or steady, pedestrians should not begin crossing, and those already in the crosswalk should continue to the other side if it’s safe to do so.

Unmarked Crosswalks

While marked crosswalks are easy to spot, unmarked crosswalks might not be as evident. In Michigan, unmarked crosswalks still hold the same legal status as marked ones, so pedestrians are entitled to the same rights and protections. When approaching an intersection without marked crosswalks, pedestrians should exercise caution and wait for a safe gap in traffic before crossing.


As pedestrians, it’s essential to be aware of Michigan’s crosswalk laws to ensure your safety while crossing roads. Understanding your rights and responsibilities helps foster a safer road environment for everyone. Remember to always use designated crosswalks when available, make eye contact with drivers before crossing, and obey pedestrian signals. Equipped with this knowledge, you can confidently navigate Michigan’s roads and make informed decisions that contribute to the overall well-being of pedestrians and drivers alike. If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, however, it’s imperative that you contact a personal injury attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.