If you’re a resident of Florida who likes to go on strolls around the neighborhood, this will certainly not be music to your ears. However, it’s important to state the facts clearly. In 2020, 716 pedestrians were killed on the roads of Florida. The toll increased sharply to 899 in 2021. But you’re wrong if you think that Florida has suddenly become unsafe for pedestrians in the last couple of years. The stats from previous years are equally grim.
Florida has been consistently ranked among the most dangerous states for pedestrians for many years now. And do not forget that these numbers don’t give a complete picture as many pedestrians are injured in the accidents and not killed. The number of pedestrians who’re involved in an accident and are seeking the services of a pedestrian accident attorney in Clermont, FL is rising with every passing year.
Why Florida is Unsafe for Pedestrians?
As is the case in the most parts of the US, cars are an integral part of people’s lives in Florida. The infrastructure of the state has been built with drivers in mind. The cities in Florida have become crowded in recent years. Also, it attracts a lot of tourists. And more people usually mean more accidents.
Florida is also home to a large number of senior citizens. As people age, they are likely to take more walks for health reasons. However, due to slower walking speed and reduced cognitive function, they are often more at risk of being hit by impatient drivers.
Also, many experts blame the poor roadway design for accidents in Florida. The crosswalks are placed too far apart, much to the inconvenience of walkers. Lack of safety precautions and reckless driving are two of the other obvious causes of road accidents involving pedestrians.
Unlike drivers, people on foot don’t have any protection. Even a minor crash can cause serious, life-threatening injuries. Therefore, it is important for you to be aware of Florida’s pedestrian laws, so that you know how you should act in traffic situations.
Florida Pedestrian Statute 316.130
Florida Pedestrian Statute 316.130 sets forth the laws and provisions regarding pedestrians. Under the law, in addition to walkers and runners, a pedestrian includes skateboarders as well as people on wheelchairs and roller skates. Florida Pedestrian Statute 316.130 contains all the regulations that pedestrians need to follow in the state. Here are some of the important pointers you need to know:
- Pedestrians must obey traffic signals under all circumstances unless there is a police officer directing the traffic.
- If sidewalks are available, you should not walk on the street. If there is no sidewalk, you should walk by the side of the road.
- Soliciting rides, business or employment while standing in a roadway is prohibited.
- Drivers must stop their vehicle when pedestrians are in a crosswalk and there is a walk signal.
- Pedestrians should not suddenly move in front of the vehicles.
- When a vehicle has stopped to let pedestrians cross, other vehicles should not cross the stopped vehicle.
- Pedestrians should walk on the right half of the crosswalk while crossing it.
- Crossing an intersection at a diagonal should never be done by a pedestrian unless specifically instructed to do so.
- Pedestrians must not walk on highway or freeway. Click here for in-depth explanation of all the regulations.
What to do if hit by a car?
It is important to know that the legal principle of comparative negligence applies in Florida. In other words, Florida allows the parties to split the blame and seek compensation for damages from each other. The jury decides the fault by considering the negligence of both the pedestrian and the vehicle driver.
If you get hit by a vehicle while walking on the road, you should immediately contact a pedestrian accident attorney in Clermont, FL. In such a situation, your focus should be on physical recovery. It’s best to let an experienced attorney take care of financial recovery for you.