Contributory Negligence

With the temperatures going up, more people are ramping up their outdoor exercise activity. This includes walking, jogging, and biking on streets and roads.

We often see people walking and jogging on the wrong side of the street or road.  North Carolina law is clear – pedestrians walk on the side of the road against traffic and bicycles travel with traffic.  This rule allows walkers to see traffic and, if there is a danger, get out of the way. If you are on the side of the road with vehicles approaching from behind, you may never hear that vehicle about to run over you.

We receive calls from time to time from pedestrians who were struck by a vehicle. Our first question is always “What side of the road were you on?” If you are on the wrong side of the road, this is called contributory negligence. And under the law of our state, you cannot recover for your injuries if you are in any degree negligent.

These rules do not apply if you are using a sidewalk.

Please pay attention to which side of the road you are walking on.