Florida Is Dangerous For Pedestrians - Staying Safe In The Sunshine State
Walking around is good for your health, but it can also be dangerous in a nation as motorized as the United States. Florida, in particular, has a lot of cars, motorcycles, RVs, SUVs, and other vehicles on the road thanks to the dense population and the vast numbers of tourists. That means there are a lot of cars on the streets all throughout the state, and while a pedestrian is more likely to win a lawsuit if they get hit by a car, it’s much better to avoid getting hit and needing to file a lawsuit in the first place.
That’s why it’s important to follow all the safety rules and regulations and practice some common-sense habits when you’re out and about on your own two feet. You may know some of these rules and recommendations already, but it won’t hurt to refresh your memory.
Stay Off The Road
This one seems obvious, and in fact almost everyone follows this rule almost all of the time. If a roadway is open to motorized vehicles like cars, trucks, and motorcycles, pedestrians should stay away as much as possible and stick to sidewalks and bicycle trails. Pedestrians are in much more danger if they have to share the road with cars.
Walk On The Left Side
If you have to walk on the road because there are no sidewalks or trails nearby, you should stay on the left side. This sounds strange because cars, bicycles, and all other vehicles drive on the right, but that’s exactly why pedestrians should walk on the left. When you walk on the left side, you can see the nearby cars coming and (unlike a vehicle) you can immediately walk off the road to let the car pass. It’s much harder to spot cars coming up from behind, and so the left side of the road is safer for pedestrians.
Use The Crosswalks
Some roads don’t have crosswalks because they’re too far out from the cities or because they’re in a residential neighborhood where every intersection lets pedestrians cross. There’s a reason why state and local governments want people to use crosswalks, and it’s because jaywalking is much less predictable. You may think you’re aware enough to cross the street wherever you want, but just one mistake can be fatal.
Hitchhiking used to be a very popular way of getting across the United States. It was just as dangerous then as it is now, but people are more aware of those dangers today. Picking up a stranger and spending time in close proximity can be a very risky move, and even more risky is trusting a strange driver to drop you off where you want to go and not force you to go somewhere or do something against your will.
Wear Bright Clothing At Night
Headlights only help so much in letting you see the road ahead, especially when you’re away from the city and all its streetlights. As a pedestrian, you have a responsibility to make yourself easier to see at night by wearing bright clothing with reflective patches, especially if you plan on jogging along a rural street or otherwise walking close to cars with no streetlights in the area. If you do end up wearing dark clothing at night, do yourself a favor and always keep an eye on your surroundings so a passing car doesn’t take you by surprise.
All of this is on top of other basic advice like “look both ways before crossing the street” and “wait for the walk signal before crossing.” Still, if the worst does happen you may want to call a personal injury lawyer that has experience with traffic and pedestrian accidents. A lawyer can help you get the best settlement possible for your insurance claim, so contact one before you cash any insurance checks.