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4 Reasons Pedestrians Should Tread Lightly

When you’re walking along the road and all you have to protect yourself is a layer of clothing, you should remember to keep your eyes and ears open. You may be safe enough on the sidewalk to send texts, read, or listen to music, but not every road has a sidewalk, and few sidewalks can completely avoid traffic intersections. If you’re planning on enjoying Florida’s beautiful weather by wandering through the streets of Tampa, Orlando, or Sarasota, make sure you remember the following rules of the road and stay safe:

1. Pedestrians Walk On The Left Shoulder

No matter what, you always stick to the right side of the road – that is, unless you’re on foot. Assuming there’s no sidewalk (and if there is then legally speaking you should be on it), pedestrians are supposed to walk on the left side of the road. This allows pedestrians and vehicles to be more aware of each other as they pass. As for why this applies to pedestrians and not to anything else like a bicycle, the answer is simple: when you’re on foot, you can jump sideways if you need to.

2. Pedestrians Should Avoid Highways Entirely

Pedestrians are not allowed to walk along limited-access roads, which refer to highways and freeways. There may be times when you have to make an exception because you ran out of gas or your car blew a tire, but speaking in general you shouldn’t walk on a road where the cars are allowed to drive at highway speeds.

3. Wear Bright Colors

This is more of a guideline than a statute, but if you plan on walking along a road after dark it’s in your best interest to be as visible as possible. Dark jeans and a black hoodie are dangerous clothing once the sun sets, and while you may be able to avoid anything bad by staying alert, it can sometimes be hard to see where a car is when you’re being dazzled by its headlights.

4. Obey The Traffic Signals

Technically speaking, Florida pedestrians only have the right-of-way when they’re on a marked crosswalk and obeying the walk/don’t walk indicators. Plus even when you’re using a crosswalk, you’re highly encouraged to make eye contact with the driver so that you can be certain he or she isn’t currently distracted.

All that being said, Florida drivers will likely take most of the blame if an accident happens, but then that usually happens because the pedestrian takes most of the damage. Car drivers get the benefit of half a ton or more of steel and sheet metal along with seat belts, air bags, and crumple zones, but all a pedestrian gets is at most a thick jacket and jeans to absorb the road rash.

If you or a loved one has been in an accident in Florida, particularly in the southwest area, consider calling one of the many offices of , Goldman, Babboni, and Walsh. If you were struck by a motorist through no fault of your own, we can help you build your case, and if you’re dealing with Florida’s no-fault PIP insurance we can help you negotiate for a larger claim. Our staff has a combined 150 years of experience practicing Florida law, and we’ll use every hour of it to help you get the settlement you deserve.

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

4 Reasons Pedestrians Should Tread Lightly

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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