A recent report by GSmart Growth America shows the number of pedestrians killed annually in the United States between  2008 and 2017. During that timeframe, annual deaths increased by 35.7 percent. A total of 49,340 people died, or 13 people a day.

It’s important to understand your rights when you are safely crossing the street at a crosswalk or walking in legally designated pedestrian areas, such as sidewalks. You should also understand your rights under the law if a vehicle hits you while you’re walking.

The Ground Rules

The relevant statute for pedestrians has 19 provisions for rules that pedestrians must follow. If you’re following these rules and get hit by a car, you probably have a pretty good legal case against the driver responsible.

  • Follow traffic devices such as signs and stay in marked crosswalks.
  • Pedestrians must cross the shortest distance between corners. This means using right angles instead of crossing diagonally.
  • Pedestrians have to cross at intersections, when available.
  • Use sidewalks if they are available since walking on the road increases the risk of accidents.
  • Pedestrians should not step into traffic suddenly since ongoing traffic isn’t always able to stop on time. 

Assuming pedestrians follow the Florida statutes above, the following are the duties of motorists in terms of pedestrian safety.

Motorist Duties

Motorist have the following ground rules to follow:

  • Following traffic signs and signals
  • Yield to pedestrians crossing the road
  • Never pass vehicles waiting for pedestrians
  • Exercise care in dealing with bicyclists and  pedestrians

Pedestrian Right of Way

In an accident involving a pedestrian and vehicle, the party who doesn’t have the right of way is at fault in the majority of cases. Knowing these laws can save you a headache as well as legal fees and judgments. Remember that as soon as you enter a crosswalk, you have the right of way, and vehicles have to stop. Pedestrians also have the right of way when approaching from the opposite side of the road and are close enough to vehicles to be in danger. Signage at an uncontrolled intersection may also convey the rights of pedestrians to cross the road.

If you require legal advice or representation on your pedestrian accident, visit the Law Offices and Smith & Vanture in West Palm Beach, FL, today.

How Can We Help You?

Need legal representation? Fill out our contact form with some information about your case/concern. We will respond to any inquiry as soon as possible.

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Whatever you do, please talk to an attorney before you talk to an insurance company about your car accident. The insurance company’s job is to pay you the least amount of money, we want to make sure you are taken care of during your time of need.

Anyone in southern Florida who has a personal injury legal issue pending should contact Smith & Vanture, LLP for a full free injury claim evaluation. Always retain an attorney who can get you what you deserve for your injury.