While there are many forms of transportation available to choose from, walking is undoubtedly one of the best. Being able to walk to work or to do errands provides enormous benefits both to your health as well as to the environment. Walking or hiking through local neighborhoods and parks provides exercise and even a brisk walk allows you the opportunity to slow down and see things you might otherwise miss. While Florida is fortunate to have a climate and terrain that is conducive to walking, the sheer numbers of residents and visitors that flood our roadways create a potentially dangerous situation for walkers. Injuries caused by pedestrian accidents can be severe and even life threatening. People who enjoy walking can help prevent themselves or the people they love from being injured in these types of accidents by following Florida pedestrian laws and taking some general safety precautions.
Traffic regulations concerning pedestrians are listed under Section 316.130 of the Florida State Statutes. These laws provide simple rules designed to decrease accidents and increase safety both for pedestrians and motorists. Florida laws regarding pedestrians include the following:
- Pedestrians are required to use sidewalks, if provided.
- If there are no sidewalks, pedestrians should walk on the shoulder of the road, in a direction that faces oncoming traffic.
- Pedestrians should use crosswalks to cross roadways, when available.
- When crossing in areas without crosswalks, pedestrians should yield to drivers, and cross in the most expedient and efficient way possible.
- Pedestrians are subject to and should obey all traffic signals, including those for bridges and railroad crossings.
While cars are required by law to yield at crosswalks, they don’t always do so. To prevent accidents, the Florida Department of Transportation advises pedestrians to follow crosswalk safety tips when crossing roads, such as pausing on the curb before attempting to cross to ensure drivers see you, and by looking left, then right, then left again before crossing.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
In addition to obeying the state laws regarding pedestrians, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recommends walkers take extra precautions to ensure their safety. Some simple safety tips for pedestrians include:
- Wear brightly colored clothing to increase visibility.
- When walking at night, wear light colored or reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.
- Stay alert when walking. Avoid using earbuds or texting while walking.
- Always use extra caution when crossing streets or intersections. In terms of safety, go above and beyond what the law requires.
- Avoid walking when under the influence of alcohol or certain medications.
Contact an Experienced Florida Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact an experienced Florida pedestrian accident lawyer today. At the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III, we know how serious injuries caused by these types of accidents can be. Recuperation times can be slow, and your medical problems may be ongoing. Serving all of Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie, Vero Beach, Saint Lucie, and Indian River Counties, our lawyers will provide the aggressive legal representation you need to get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (772) 595-6654 for a free consultation.