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Best Safety Practices for Florida Pedestrians

In 2022, Florida ranked as the second most dangerous state for pedestrian accidents. In the same year, there were over 10,000 accidents involving pedestrians, leading to more than 750 fatalities. The Deltona/Daytona Beach/Ormond Beach metropolitan area was ranked number one for pedestrian accidents in the state. These statistics highlight the dangers pedestrians face on Florida roadways. However, following safe driving and walking practices can help prevent accidents. Florida Statue Chapter 316.130 discusses rules pedestrians should follow to stay safe on the road, which we describe below. 

Always Use the Crosswalk 

The best way to avoid pedestrian accidents is to use designated walkways and crosswalks. Even if a crosswalk is down the road from your intended destination, crossing at a non-designated area isn’t worth the risk of crossing in front of traffic. Not only is it unsafe, but crossing the street without a designated crosswalk is illegal. 

Walk on the Sidewalk

Part 3 of Florida Statute 316.130 states that pedestrians should walk on sidewalks whenever possible and available. It also specifies that pedestrians shouldn’t walk on a paved road intended for vehicles if a sidewalk is available. If there isn’t a sidewalk, the pedestrian should walk on the shoulder of the road on the left-hand side to face oncoming traffic. 

Don’t Solicit 

Florida law specifies that standing in a roadway for specific purposes, such as hitching a ride, seeking employment, or advertising, is illegal. 

Follow School Zone Rules

Unfortunately, school zones and bus stops pose a high risk for pedestrians and drivers. When a school bus activates its stop sign, drivers must stop traffic in both directions on roads without a median. However, many drivers fail to do this. Additionally, some drivers don’t follow the instructions given by school crossing guards. This can cause serious accidents, potentially injuring pedestrians, school bus passengers, and vehicle operators. 

Limit Distractions

While distracted driving is a significant problem facing Florida drivers today, pedestrians can also get distracted. Some of the most common distractions for pedestrians are listening to loud music in headphones, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and using a smartphone while crossing a street.

Wear Reflective Clothing at Night

One of the most important things a pedestrian can do is ensure their visibility when walking at night. Wear reflectors or highly reflective clothing when walking on a roadway in the dark. Carrying a flashlight may also help, as it will alert drivers of your presence. 

Pedestrians vs. Cars: Who Has the Right of Way? 

Accidents can be minimized when pedestrians and drivers adhere to road safety rules regarding who has the right of way. Generally, people believe that pedestrians always have the right of way. However, this isn’t the case. Drivers must yield to pedestrians in parking lots, designated crosswalks (with or without a crossing signal), and roundabouts. Cars have the right of way in roadways when obeying traffic signals such as having a green light. Cars also have the right of way when there isn’t a crosswalk present.

Ocala Accident Attorneys: The King Law Firm 

If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a pedestrian, let the personal injury attorneys at the King Law Firm help you receive compensation for your injuries. We help residents throughout Marion County, Ocala, and The Villages. Call our office at 352-269-1814 for a free consultation. 

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