Know The Pedestrian Rules Of The Road To Avoid Accidents
Florida has a reputation for many good things. Sandy beaches, warm winters, and awesome amusement parks are just a few things that draw people to visit here each year. These things also drive people to relocation in our beautiful state. This leads to a lot of people who travel around the state each year in vehicles and on foot.
Popular For Pedestrians
The one thing negative thing that Florida also has a reputation for is pedestrian accidents. In a 10-year span, there were 5,433 pedestrian deaths across the state. This amounts to 2.73 deaths per 100,000 people. The soars over the national average of 1.55 deaths per 100,000 people. In a nationwide look at the most dangerous cities for pedestrians in 2019, nine of the top 20 cities were found in Florida, including:
• Daytona Beach
• West Palm Beach
• Fort Myers
Unfortunately, fatality rates continue to climb. Death rates are very high for the elderly, minorities, and those in poor communities where walking is more common. SUVs and trucks are two times as likely to cause a fatality than a sedan, and these vehicles continue to grow in popularity.
Use Safety Precautions
While there are different reasons for pedestrian accidents and fatalities, the main cause is the driver-friendly roadways that were created to accommodate higher speeds for cars over safety for people on bikes and foot.
Until there is a change to the infrastructure that provides better walkways, more crossing areas, pedestrian overpasses, slower speed limits, and bike lanes, the best way to stay safe on foot is to stay alert at all times and understand these rules of the road:
• Any person on foot is a pedestrian, including those in a wheelchair or on roller blades. Cyclists are not pedestrians.
• Pedestrians are not allowed to walk on a highway or freeway, or any ramp that connects the two.
• When there are sidewalks available, pedestrians must walk on them. They are not allowed on the roadway.
• When sidewalks are not available, pedestrians may walk in the road. They must, however, walk only on the shoulder facing the direction of oncoming traffic.
• Pedestrians must obey all traffic signals and cross only when the pedestrian light is green and after checking to be sure all vehicles have stopped.
• Be aware that even when a pedestrian has the right-of-way, some drivers will not stop. Attempt to make eye contact so that you know the driver is aware of you before you step into the crosswalk.
• Under Florida law, pedestrians are prohibited from standing on the road to speak with the occupant of a vehicle.
• Violation of pedestrian laws can result in a noncriminal traffic infraction with a fine in the standard amount of $15.
• Using the best safety practices can keep you safe as you walk. Always wear brightly colored clothing with reflective material when walking at night. Stay alert by removing headphones to hear traffic and don’t text while walking.
Get Help If You Get Hurt
Every pedestrian in Florida deserves to be able to walk around our beautiful communities without fear. If you or someone you love is has been injured or killed while walking, contact an attorney that handles pedestrian accidents.
We’ll fight for you to get the compensation you deserve when someone disregards the rules of the road. We might not be able to lessen the fatality rates, but we can see that justice is served.