How do Florida crosswalk laws affect pedestrian accident claims?

While Florida has millions of drivers, it also has millions of pedestrians. Distraction or recklessness by either party can cause a disastrous accident. Knowing Florida crosswalk laws can protect you from harm or ensure you recover the compensation you need if you are ever involved in an accident.

What crosswalk laws do I need to know in Florida? 

Florida Statute § 316.130 lays out specific traffic laws and regulations all pedestrians in the state must follow.

One of the most common questions Florida residents have is, “Are drivers required to stop when a pedestrian is crossing the street?” The answer: it depends. Of course, pedestrians have the right-of-way if they have a walk signal; however, right-of-way can be a bit more complicated.

What if there is a traffic light? 

Obviously, if the light is red, the driver must stop. If the driver plans to make a right turn on red, he or she must wait until all pedestrians have left the crosswalk.

However, this does not mean that a pedestrian always has the right-of-way at a red light. If another driver has a green turn arrow, that driver has the right-of-way and the pedestrian must wait until he or she has a walk sign to cross.

What if there is signage? 

Florida drivers must also yield to pedestrians when any signage is present that explicit states to stop or yield (e.g., turning vehicles must yield to pedestrians in crosswalk).

What if no traffic signals or signs are present? 

If no traffic control signals or signage are in place, drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians on two occasions:

  1. If the pedestrian is in the crosswalk, on the side of the road that the driver is using
  2. The pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the road that he or she would be in jeopardy if the driver did not stop

It is important to note that there are both marked and unmarked crosswalks (i.e., an intersection without crossing lines). Pedestrians have the right-of-way in both marked and unmarked crosswalks.

 What other crosswalk laws are important to know in Florida? 

Here are some other important regulations to know if you are a pedestrian in the state of Florida:

  • Whenever a car has stopped for pedestrians at a crosswalk, no other driver can overtake or pass the stopped vehicle.
  • Pedestrians crossing the road outside of a crosswalk must yield the right-of-way to all drivers.
  • Pedestrians must always cross the road at right angles, except at places where the crosswalk takes them otherwise.
  • If between adjacent intersections where crosswalks are available, pedestrians are restricted from crossing the street at any place except in the marked crosswalk areas.
  • Drivers must stop at crosswalks with signage, not simply yield to pedestrians.

How does this affect me if I am in an accident? 

If you are in an accident, to recover compensation you will need to prove that the driver was responsible for the accident. To do this, you must be able to prove that he or she was acting negligently. You may be able to establish this by proving that the driver violated a crosswalk law.

For example, say you were crossing with a walk signal when a driver made a right turn on red without yielding to you. That driver has violated a crosswalk law and is likely responsible for your injuries.

For help with your accident case, call the pedestrian accident attorneys at Coffey Trial Law today: 954-541-3194.