Right of Way Laws for Pedestrians in Florida

July 19, 2019

When you leave home on foot, nobody expects to be involved in an automobile accident. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents do happen and often with a devastating effect to one's life. Living in Florida, your risk of being injured in a pedestrian accident goes up at night and is historically higher if you are living in an urban rather than a rural area of the state. The obvious concern, when an vehicle-pedestrian accident happens, is the discrepancy in protective safety gear.

Florida Title XXIII, Chapter 316 - Section 130

According to Florida Statutes Title XXIII, Chapter 316 - Section 130, both the pedestrian and the driver of a vehicle have a responsibility to behave in a reasonable and safe manner:

  • on sidewalks
  • at crosswalks
  • walking beside a road
  • at crossing barriers
  • using access ramps
  • crossing bridges
  • no hitchhiking

Notwithstanding of other provisions in Chapter 316, every driver has a responsibility to exercise due care and avoid colliding with a pedestrian or human-powered vehicle like a bicycle. Conversely, pedestrians have a similar requirement.

Violations of Title XXIII, Chapter 316 by a pedestrian is considered a noncriminal pedestrian traffic infraction; or by the operator of the vehicle as a moving traffic violation. Furthermore, pedestrians are required to obey traffic control devices and use marked crosswalks when provided. Foot traffic is not allowed to cross a roadway or street between two adjacent intersections (unless marked) and should use the shoulder on the left side of the road facing traffic if sidewalks are not available.

Comparative Negligence Standard Determines Fault

Serious injuries can occur whenever a car or truck strikes a pedestrian and, in many cases, it is amazing that the victim could even survive an encounter with a moving vehicle. When a pedestrian is struck during an accident, it is not uncommon to see injuries like broken bones, lacerations, spinal injuries, internal injuries, traumatic brain injuries as well as partial or total paralysis. Since "fault" is not always 100% the cause of one party, Florida law follows the Comparative Negligence Standard, where both the driver and pedestrian are responsible for their apportioned share of fault.

Naturally, the best way to avoid auto-pedestrian accidents is for both parties to obey traffic control devices and not allow distractions. If you were involved in a Gainesville pedestrian accident with a vehicle, contact the Law Offices of Schackow & Mercadante. Once you tell your story to our personal injury attorney, he or she will explain how personal damages are calculated based on how your life has changed following the accident. 

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