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What are Florida’s “Right of Way” laws?

by | Sep 4, 2020

Pedestrian Accidents (1)

Often, the statutes that govern pedestrians laws get referred to colloquially as “Right of Way” laws. However, Florida’s pedestrian laws cover a wider array of topics and situations than just crossing the street. 

The general thrust of this group of laws is that pedestrians have the right of way when crossing a street, provided that they are crossing inside a crosswalk. However, Section 316.130, Florida Statutes, details a more fulsome set of rules that pedestrians must follow. Here are some of the key provisions:

  • Where sidewalks are provided, pedestrians must not walk on the portion of a road paved for vehicle traffic,
  • Where sidewalks are not provided, pedestrians must only walk on the left shoulder of the road (i.e. against the flow of traffic),
  • Pedestrians must not stand in the road to solicit a ride, employment, or business from the occupant of any vehicle,
  • Pedestrians must not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle whose driver cannot yield,
  • At intersections and crosswalks, drivers must stop and must remain stopped to let a pedestrian who is at least halfway across the road pass,
  • When there are no traffic control signals, drivers must yield right-of-way or stop to allow a pedestrian who is at least halfway across the road to pass,
  • Whenever a vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross, no driver can pass the stopped vehicle,
  • Between adjacent intersections with traffic control signals, pedestrians must not cross at any place except the marked crosswalk.
  • Every pedestrian crossing a road outside a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway,
  • Pedestrians must cross the road at 90-degree angles to the opposite curb.
  • Pedestrians shall move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of crosswalks.

Safety and Liability Protection

Florida’s pedestrian laws are primarily in place to keep pedestrians safe. But following these rules has the knock-on effect of reducing the potential liability a person might bear in a pedestrian accident.

Because Florida is a comparative liability state, these various pedestrian laws are critical when it comes to assigning comparative liability in your pedestrian accident case. If the driver’s defense attorney can show that you were violating one or more of these laws, for example, that you were jaywalking or not crossing at a 90-degree angle, then you can be held partly liable for the accident that occurs as a result.

Get Help and Start to Recover

If you or a loved one has been hit by a car while walking or jogging in Boca Raton, we can help! The lawyers at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center can review your case and explain your legal options so you can make the best choice for you and your family. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.

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