Did you know that the Tampa and St. Petersburg area ranks in at No. 7 as the most dangerous metro area in the nation for pedestrians? While the number seven ranking is actually an improvement for Clearwater from previous years, it is still a very concerning number.
You may be wondering, who has the right of way? Do pedestrians always have the right of way? The answer may surprise you!
In Florida, if a pedestrian is present and traffic signals indicate a pedestrian to cross a roadway with a marked crosswalk on the road, cars must stop. If there is a marked crosswalk but no traffic signals, the driver shall yield the right of way by slowing down or stopping, to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway. Conversely, every pedestrian crossing a roadway somewhere other than a marked crosswalk shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
Where sidewalks are provided, no pedestrian shall, unless required by other circumstances, walk along and upon the portion of a roadway paved for vehicular traffic. Finally, no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.
As many drivers know, pedestrians don’t always follow these laws. So how can you protect yourself as a driver?
- STAY ALERT – do not use your cell phone while driving,
- STOP for pedestrians at crosswalks,
- SLOW down and obey the posted speed limit,
- YIELD to pedestrians when turning,
- Use CAUTION when passing stopped vehicles,
- LOOK around you always, and
- DON’T ASSUME that pedestrians will stop for traffic.
By following these simple steps, you could help to prevent a life changing tragedy. If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian or motor vehicle accident, call the Personal Injury Law Office of Chelsie M. Lamie, P.A. at 727-501-3464 for a free consultation. You can learn more about Attorney Lamie at www.chelsielamie.com. You can learn more about Florida’s pedestrian laws here!