Florida is the Most Dangerous State for Pedestrians: Injury Attorney Shares Your Rights as a Pedestrian in Florida
Florida is the most dangerous state for pedestrians, according to a recent report. In the 10 years covered by the study, nearly 5,500 pedestrians died in Florida. The report also found that older pedestrians, people of color, and pedestrians in lower-income neighborhoods had the highest risk for fatal pedestrian accidents.
Florida reported 708 pedestrian deaths in 2020, according to Florida highway statistics. Florida is home to 9 of the cities on the list of the nation’s 13 most deadly metropolitan areas for pedestrians.
In this blog, we will address risk factors for pedestrians in Florida, and pedestrian rights, regulations, and safety tips from our pedestrian injury attorney.
Pedestrians ages 65-74 have the highest pedestrian fatality rate, and pedestrians ages 5 to 18 have the lowest pedestrian fatality rate, according to a study conducted by a Florida university.
Pedestrian fatalities in Florida are less likely to occur at an intersection and more likely to take place at an uncontrolled mid-point in an intersection. More than 40% of pedestrian deaths in Florida happened near a controlled intersection, but in a place where a pedestrian had to judge whether it was safe to cross.
About 13% of pedestrian fatalities occurred when pedestrians were crossing an intersection.
Surprisingly, most pedestrian deaths in Florida were not intersection-related.
- Florida pedestrian deaths are most likely to occur between 6 pm and midnight and hours without daylight.
- Weather conditions were not a large factor in pedestrian deaths, as 70% of the accidents happened in clear weather conditions.
- In 9 out of 10 fatal pedestrian accidents, the roadways were dry.
- Pedestrian deaths were split nearly 50/50 between rural and urban environments, with 53% of accidents happening in a rural setting and 47% in an urban setting.
- Pedestrian accidents were spread out fairly evenly among the days of the week, but fatal crashes are most likely to happen on a Friday or a Saturday.
- In almost 40% of crashes, an action by the pedestrian resulted in the fatal injury.
- ○ About 28% of pedestrians failed to yield to the right-of-way of oncoming traffic.
- ○ 7% of pedestrians who died in an accident were alcohol- or drug-impaired.
- ○ About 3% combined involved pedestrians disregarding traffic signals or obstructing traffic.
- Pedestrian accidents are 4x more likely to occur when the pedestrian walked with traffic and not against or facing the traffic.
As you can see by this information, obeying traffic rules and the road as a pedestrian can be the difference between life and death. About 4 out of 10 accidents involve actions by a pedestrian.
- Yield the right of way to traffic. Look both ways, twice. Make sure that you enter a road at a safe time and that drivers will have a very clear opportunity to see you. Don’t ever dart into the street or emerge into the road from between two parallel parked cars.
- Don’t drink and walk. Especially if you live near downtown, you may think that walking is a safer way to get around than driving, and it’s certainly cheaper than getting a cab or an Uber or a Lyft. Walking around drunk or under the influence of drugs can be extremely dangerous. Do not consider walking a safe method of transportation if you’ve been drinking.
- Obey traffic signals. Whenever possible, cross at designated crosswalks. It will help keep you safe, and in the event of an accident – fatal or not – it will help determine what rights you have as an injured pedestrian. It may seem overkill, but it’s also important to obey the crosswalk signals. Wait to cross until you have the walk signal.
Most laws regarding pedestrian rights, regulation, and safety are found in Florida Statute 316.130.
Pedestrian rights are strongest when walking in a marked crosswalk with the appropriate walk signal. Drivers are required by law to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk with a walk signal. If you’re in a crosswalk, a driver cannot get close enough that you’re in any danger.
Even if there are no traffic control signals or signs, drivers must yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
Your best bet to stay safe is to walk in a marked crosswalk. If you are injured as a pedestrian, you will also have more rights and more opportunities to recover damages if you followed all the pedestrian rules of the road.
Pedestrian Rights According to Florida Law:
- If there is no provided sidewalk, a pedestrian can walk along a roadway but should only walk on the left side of the road to face traffic.
- Drivers of cars at controlled intersections should stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and allow them to cross that portion of the road before entering the crosswalk.
- When there is no traffic control signal, a driver should yield the right of way to a pedestrian by slowing down or stopping.
Pedestrian Regulations According to Florida Law:
- If a pedestrian is crossing a road somewhere without a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk, the pedestrian should yield the right of way to drivers and be extra cautious.
- If there is a traffic control signal, pedestrians should only cross in the marked crosswalk.
- Pedestrians are required to obey traffic control devices applicable to pedestrians unless a police officer directs otherwise.
- Pedestrians are subject to traffic control signs at intersections.
- If there is a sidewalk provided, a pedestrian cannot walk along a roadway.
- A pedestrian shall not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of vehicles making it impossible for the driver to yield.
- Pedestrians should not cross an intersection diagonally unless directed by a police officer or traffic controller.
Pedestrian injuries caused by collisions with a car are often severe and life-threatening. Broken bones, cuts, scrapes, bruises and concussions and traumatic brain injuries are very common.
If a driver hurt you, as a pedestrian, you can seek to hold the driver responsible for the costs. A Florida personal injury lawyer can help pedestrian accident victims recover financial expenses including emergency medical treatment, any ongoing medical care, physical therapy, and much more.
In addition to recovering for your medical expenses, injured pedestrians can also seek compensation for the mental pain, anguish and suffering caused by the accident.
Injured in a Florida Pedestrian Accident? Our South Florida Pedestrian Injury Lawyer Offers FREE Consultations
If you were hurt in a Florida pedestrian accident, you need to speak with an experienced Florida pedestrian lawyer as soon as possible.
We proudly serve Florida residents including all of Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County and all points in between.