Pedestrian accidents and injuries happen everyday in the state of Florida. Infact, in 2021, Florida had the second most pedestrian related deaths in the United States with 899 pedestrians passing away from vehicle related accidents. There are various ways pedestrians are injured, but dangerous driving has always been at the root of pedestrian accidents and deaths.
Dangerous driving is considered to be reckless driving, drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, and more, but actually rolling stops are the most common cause of pedestrian injuries and deaths. Many cars will carelessly approach crosswalks, stop lights, or 4-way stops, forgetting about the potential of a pedestrian crossing. Florida in particular is a hot spot for pedestrians as it is known as a vacation state. Beach towns typically have heavy foot traffic and numerous crosswalks on coastal boulevards, and urban areas all over the state are full of pedestrians crossing busy streets.
Many pedestrians and drivers are unaware of Florida laws when it comes to who has the right of way. When someone is a pedestrian, they naturally assume they always have the right of way, and when they’re in the driver’s seat, vice versa. But neither the pedestrian or the driver always has the right of way.
When Do Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way?
Florida law considers any person “afoot” to be a pedestrian. This includes those in wheelchairs, rollerblades, or on a skateboard. Just because they are afoot doesn’t mean they automatically have the right away. So when do they?
- In a parking lot
When a pedestrian is making their way through any parking lot, they have the right of way. After all, the purpose of a parking lot is for people to park their vehicles and then make their way into a store. This doesn’t, however, make it okay for a pedestrian to run or jump in front of someone’s vehicle. In this instance, the driver wouldn’t be at fault for any accidents or injuries caused.
- In a crosswalk with or without a signal
Any pedestrian that is at a crosswalk with a signal indicating that it is safe for them to cross the road, always has the right of way. If there is no signal, but there is a crosswalk, pedestrians still have the right of way and drivers should yield to the pedestrian.
- In a roundabout
Pedestrians approaching a roundabout crosswalk do have the right of way in Florida. Drivers should yield to pedestrians before they proceed into the roundabout.
(Bicyclists also have the right of way at a 4-way stop. Drivers should yield to a person on a bicycle who approaches the 4-way stop first.)
While pedestrians do have the right of way in all three of these instances, they should still proceed with caution when crossing roads or entering roundabouts in order to avoid any potential for accident or injury.
When Do Pedestrians NOT Have The Right Of Way?
- When a traffic signal is green
When a traffic signal indicates that a driver may go, a pedestrian should not cross. While Florida statute has no mention of jaywalking, crossing on a signal that does not indicate it is safe to, is not only extremely dangerous, but it is illegal. Pedestrians should always wait for a traffic signal to indicate that it is safe to walk. Disobeying a traffic signal can be cause for receiving a traffic infraction.
- When there is no crosswalk
When there isn’t a crosswalk present, pedestrians should not be crossing any roads or highways. This is dangerous for pedestrians and all oncoming traffic.
Any time a driver is driving a road that has no crosswalks, traffic signals or 4-way stops, they have the right of way. However, drivers are still going to have to stop for pedestrians. Just because a pedestrian has the right of way, doesn’t mean you go no matter what; protecting other people is a high priority while out on the road.
Can I Sue If I Was Injured In A Pedestrian Accident And Had The Right Of Way?
As a pedestrian…
If a pedestrian had the right of way and was injured by a negligent driver, the pedestrian can bring legal claims against the driver to recover compensation for damages and injuries.
As a driver…
Pedestrians have a much better chance of suing a negligent driver for obvious reasons, but if a pedestrian was negligent in an instance that a driver has the right of way, and causes that driver to have an accident, they can file a lawsuit against that pedestrian.
Whether you were the driver or the pedestrian in a pedestrian related accident, it is important that you immediately seek out proper legal representation to help you build a defense or file a claim.
How Can Florida Law Group Help You
Accidents happen all the time! Even when you’re as careful as possible, you can’t control what others do. If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, The Florida Law Group is here to help you! Our pedestrian accident lawyers can help you obtain full and fair compensation to cover your damages and medical bills when you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence. Call The Florida Law Group for a free consultation today!
About Our Firm
The Florida Law Group has been open since 1984, and is one of the largest and most reputable firms in the state of Florida. Our skilled team of attorneys have a combined 100 years of experience. We are passionate about representing clients who have been victims of various vehicle related accidents and ensuring that they are compensated the way they deserve to be! Our firm has been recognized by some of the top most prestigious legal organizations like Trial Lawyer Board of Regents, National Trial Lawyers Top 100, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, the Best Lawyers in America, Florida Super Lawyers, Avvo, and more; to date, we have recovered over $1 billion for our clients.
We are confident in our knowledge and experience, and know that we can be the advantage you need! If you find yourself injured after a pedestrian or other vehicle-related accident that wasn’t your fault, call our attorneys at The Florida Law Group for professional and seasoned representation.