When a traffic signal is available, it is obvious who has the right-of-way. But what about when there is no signal, or no painted crosswalk?
Florida’s traffic laws are a two-way street. Both drivers and pedestrians have a duty to do their part in preventing pedestrian accidents.
Under state law (Florida Statutes 316.130), drivers must exercise care in avoiding pedestrians in the roadway.
Pedestrians are also responsible for obeying any official traffic control device that applies to them.
Additionally, pedestrians are not allowed to walk on the roadway when a sidewalk is available, and they are instructed to walk on the left shoulder of the roadway facing traffic when a sidewalk is not available.
When it comes to crossing roadways, pedestrians have the right-of-way when in a marked or an unmarked crosswalk. Unmarked crosswalk refers to all intersections of streets, even when there are no painted crosswalk lines.
Therefore, drivers must yield to pedestrians in both marked and unmarked crosswalks. However, pedestrians should not step out in front of a vehicle that is so close that it would be impossible for the vehicle to stop.
When crossing a roadway outside of a marked or unmarked roadway, pedestrians must yield to vehicles.
Finally, pedestrians should never assume that drivers see them and will stop, even when they have the right-of-way. Pedestrians should make eye contact with the driver to make sure that the driver sees them before stepping into the roadway.
Why following the rules of the road is important
Not only does following Florida’s traffic laws help to prevent pedestrian accidents it also helps prevent liability in case an accident does occur. If a pedestrian is injured by a vehicle, an investigation will take place to determine who was at fault.
If the driver was at fault, he or she could be liable for the pedestrian’s medical bills, lost wages and other related expenses in a personal injury claim.