Pedestrians in Florida — Walking the Streets in Safety
With the ubiquity of mobile digital devices, distracted driving is more prevalent than ever before. Because of this, pedestrians are at risk when walking near a public roadway.
Those who are walking, roller-skating, skateboarding, or using a wheelchair to travel are at risk when motorists are distracted. Although Florida drivers have a legal responsibility to operate their vehicles safely, many do not.
Best Practices for Pedestrians in Florida
Some of the most common rules of the road for pedestrians include:
Choose a Safe Place to Walk
Pedestrians should walk in the opposing direction of vehicular traffic. This allows them to have the best chance of seeing any oncoming traffic in plenty of time. They can also make eye contact with motorists to ensure that they have been seen. This is also true for roads without sidewalks.
When the street does not have a sidewalk, pedestrians should stay as far away from the edge of the roadway as possible. Walking toward oncoming traffic is the best way to remain visible.
Use the Sidewalk
Many public thoroughfares have sidewalks on both sides. When this is the case, pedestrians should be able to safely walk on either side of the road.
However, other public roads only have sidewalks on one side. In these instances, Florida pedestrians should walk on the sidewalk. This is true no matter where the sidewalk is located. A paved sidewalk is almost always safer than an unpaved shoulder.
Walk in Single File
When on a sidewalk, multiple pedestrians can safely walk side-by-side. However, this is not the case when no sidewalks are available.
On a road without sidewalks, multiple pedestrians should walk single file. This will allow for a greater distance between those on foot and oncoming motor vehicles.
Walking single file is particularly important on winding and curvy roads and streets. When coming around a sharp curve, motorists may only have a few seconds to see the pedestrians.
Those walking near a road should always be as predictable as possible.
Pedestrians should avoid the following unpredictable behavior:
- Walking in a non-linear path
- Moving quickly or unexpectedly
- Switching sides of the road frequently
When pedestrians act in an unpredictable manner, it can be difficult for motorists to anticipate their movements and avoid crashes. Also, behaving predictably helps to reduce traffic congestion and improve the flow of pedestrian movement.
Understand Florida’s Right-of-Way Laws
Many Floridians believe that pedestrians have the right-of-way in every situation. However, this is not necessarily the case.
Under Florida state law, pedestrians should only cross roadways at marked crosswalks. They may also cross at controlled intersections while obeying all relevant traffic laws. This includes following all signs, lights, and traffic signals.
Even when crossing at a designated point on the road, pedestrians should look both ways and attempt to make eye contact with oncoming motorists.
When a pedestrian is crossing a roadway at any other point, they are required to yield the right-of-way to oncoming vehicles. It is important to remember that motorists may be distracted or otherwise negligent.
Even when pedestrians are following the rules of the road, they should proceed with caution. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be owed financial repayment for the damage you sustained. It’s a good idea to consult an attorney following an accident or injury.
Contact the Jacksonville Pedestrian Accident Law Firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help
For more information, please contact the Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra pedestrian accident law firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Jacksonville
9471 Baymeadows Rd #105,
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Downtown Jacksonville
121 W. Forsyth St. #170
Jacksonville, FL 32202