Florida: All You Need to Know About Pedestrian Law

Pedestrian accidents are as bad as they sound! They consist of head-on collisions, roll-over crashes and bicycle accidents. The outcome is pretty bad most often. Serious injuries are mostly common. Drivers surely have a responsibility to pay attention to prevent accidents on the road. However, pedestrians are equally responsible for their safety. They need to stay alert while walking on sidewalks or crossing the road.

Here are some basic rules of the road for pedestrians:
As per the Florida Statute §316.130, a pedestrian must not walk on the street, but should walk on the sidewalk where sidewalks are provided. In case a sidewalk is not provided, a pedestrian can walk on the road of course. However, you need to be cautious all the time while on road or sidewalk. When you are sharing roadways with cars, you need to be extra cautious. When there is no sidewalk, a pedestrian is expected to walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the roadway as related to the pedestrian’s direction of walking, facing the oncoming traffic. This is due to the simple fact that a driver and a pedestrian when facing each other are more aware of each other’s presence. Thus, it reduces the chances of the occurrence of any accident.

  • Cyclists are not counted among pedestrians. So, they are expected to travel on the right.
  • When a pedestrian is not crossing the road within a marked crosswalk, he needs to give in to the right-of-way to all vehicles. While crossing, pedestrian needs to look left, right and left again to ensure that he or she has a safe way to cross.
  • All the traffic signals need to be followed by pedestrians. The pedestrians need to cross a road only when a pedestrian light is green. However, pedestrian needs to make sure that the cars are stopping while crossing.
  • Pedestrians should keep it in mind that even when a pedestrian has right-of-way, all cars might not stop. It is likely for a driver to not notice a pedestrian or a traffic light. So, it is important for a pedestrian to make eye contact with the drivers before crossing a road. This increases the chances of the driver to notice the pedestrian. As stated by the Florida Statute §316.130(13), the pedestrians should move upon the right half of crosswalks while crossing.
  • As per the Florida law, any person is prohibited to stand on a road that is paved for vehicular traffic to solicit a ride, employment, or business from the occupant of any vehicle. Also, you should keep in mind that you cannot stand on or near a street or a highway to solicit the watching or guarding of any parked vehicle or a vehicle about to be parked on a street or highway.

If any of the above mentioned Florida laws is broken, you might be punishable as a pedestrian violation. A person might either elect to appear before a designated official or pay the civil penalty and delinquent fee, if applicable, either by mail or in person, within 30 days after the date of issuance of the citation. This is mentioned in the Florida Statute §318.14(4) & (5). The amount of penalty for a pedestrian violation is $15 for every §318.18.

The pedestrians should stay visible by wearing clothes with reflective material, especially in the nights. They need to stay out of blind spots. Make sure to stay alert all the time. Keep in mind that wearing your headphones while walking on the street, especially a busy one may decrease your ability to hear horns or noise from the oncoming traffic. If you follow these basic rules, you can easily avoid dangerous situations leading to injurious or even deadly accidents.

Today, cars are equipped with plenty of safety equipment like a seat belt and airbags. However, pedestrians in Florida still need to be cautious while walking on the street. Florida pedestrians usually are at a higher risk of suffering serious injuries or even being killed in a vehicle accident when compared to those of other states. So, Florida pedestrians should be aware of their surroundings while walking on the road or crossing the road. A passenger and the driver in the car should ensure the safety of that vehicle with the help of multiple crash safety tests.

The vehicle is usually built to sustain some type of impact and protect the occupants inside it. The pedestrian is surely at a greater risk of getting injured as compared to the driver or the passengers in the car. It is because the pedestrian is exposed to all of the possible elements.

Pedestrians and motorists both have equal responsibility to do away with pedestrian accidents. It is essential for vehicle drivers to realize that defensive driving refers to being aware of people who operate wheelchairs, roller blades, play in the road, use a bicycle or walk. More focus should be given on elder adults and kids.

Pedestrians need to be extra cautious since they are the most vulnerable party in such accidents. They have a probability to suffer from severe physical or even mental injuries. If the pedestrian accident is too serious, the vehicle driver might be severely injured as well. It is likely for him to get into fight or flight mode.

When a pedestrian accident involves severe injuries or death, the case might turn out to be serious and complicated. Accidents involving death can give way to criminal charges. All of you need to understand what are your rights and also the steps that you need to take after the occurrence of a pedestrian accident in Florida.

Being a no-fault state, Florida has personal injury protection coverage required for individuals. To get proper compensation, you would need to file a claim with your own personal injury protection insurance coverage immediately after the accident. Also, you would need to max out your benefits there prior to filing a personal injury claim. For a pedestrian accident claim, it is not a tough job to exceed your personal injury protection cap.