Every day, pedestrian accidents happen. We may be unaware of it, but according to a study, in 2017, almost 6,000 pedestrians were killed in accidents involving traffic crashes. Pedestrian accidents happen more often than people think.
Such an accident can lead to severe injuries or result in death for the victims. Unfortunately, people have spread many misconceptions that disrepute pedestrians or trivialize the seriousness of pedestrian safety issues.
Below is more helpful information about pedestrian accidents in Florida and some common myths about pedestrians and pedestrian accidents.
Pedestrian Accidents in Florida: An Overview
There are many reasons why pedestrian accidents in Florida happen. These range from reckless or drunk driving, speeding, or perhaps even pedestrian negligence.
Contrary to the common belief that pedestrian accidents happen at night because of darkness, street lighting, weather, and vehicles’ improper headlights are also common causes.
Most pedestrian accidents happen at intersections, crosswalks, and sidewalks. Regardless of where it occurs, the accident can be fatal and may be life-threatening. In some cases, a driver may have suddenly lost control of the wheel or was perhaps drunk driving.
There have also been cases when the weather made it difficult to see, not to mention inadequate and improper vehicle headlights. Similarly, several pedestrian accidents in Florida were also caused by pedestrian negligence.
Regardless of cause and fault, any type of pedestrian accident often leaves pedestrian injuries from car accidents.
In this kind of accident, the driver may be sued for damages and held liable for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and funeral expenses.
The victim should always seek professional help from a pedestrian accident attorney. The plaintiff/victim has up to four years from the date of injury to file for a personal injury case and up to two years for wrongful death.
Right of way laws for Florida pedestrians
- According to the state’s pedestrian laws, walkers must obey any official traffic control device (traffic signs, signals, or pavement striping) unless otherwise directed by a police official.
- Pedestrians should also use the sidewalk if it is available if the roadway is not. However, if sidewalks aren't available or are under construction, they should use the shoulder of the left side of the road facing traffic.
- Pedestrians have the following responsibilities when crossing the road:
- Subject to traffic signals;
- Not allowed to leave the curb until the traffic signal tells them to;
- Not allowed to yield to right-of-way vehicles;
- To keep to the right half of crosswalks;
- To cross the roadway at a right angle or by the shortest route (except within a marked crosswalk);
- If authorized by a traffic control device, one may only cross a roadway intersection diagonally.
- The only exception is when crossing between two intersections marked as crosswalks.
Types of Pedestrian Injuries in Florida
Many pedestrian injuries from car accidents don’t often manifest immediately. Sometimes, we think they did not sustain any damage just because a victim can stand up and walk away.
This is wrong. Here are some pedestrian injuries which may manifest after a pedestrian accident in Florida.
- Brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Soft tissue injury
- Loss of limbs
Despite these damages and injuries, some victims do not wish to bring their case to court immediately. According to a pedestrian injury accident attorney, a plaintiff will have up to four years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury case.
A wrongful death may be filed up to two years from the date of the incident.
Being involved in pedestrian accidents in Florida is a harrowing ordeal. Consult a pedestrian injury accident attorney to know if you have a claim.
Myths About Pedestrian Accidents in Florida
Myth #1: Pedestrian Deaths Are Reduced When Fewer People Walk
Nowadays, most people travel by car. However, fewer people who walk don’t automatically result in fewer pedestrian accidents.
When fewer pedestrians walk and cross the streets, drivers could be too carefree and not pay attention when approaching crosswalks and intersections.
Myth #2: Pedestrians Are Usually Elderly People
- Unlike common scenarios in movies where most pedestrian accidents in Florida involve the elderly only, younger people also get involved in these kinds of accidents.
Based on research, people from more youthful generations are more likely to walk than use their car.
This is true most especially in the summer when people like talking walks from one place to another.
Myth #3: Jaywalkers Who Get Hit Are Solely to Blame
Those who cross the street without using a crosswalk or while the traffic’s on a green light are jaywalkers. Now, not all jaywalkers are at fault just because they are in violation.
In Florida statute 316.130, it is said that “a pedestrian can cross a roadway at a point where there is no crosswalk as long as they yield to vehicles on the road.”
With this, we can say that pedestrian accidents in Florida that involve Jaywalking can leave both the driver and the pedestrian liable.
That is why reaching out to a pedestrian accident attorney is essential so that the case could be taken to a Florida court as they use the comparative negligence principle to determine who’s at fault.
Myth #4: Pedestrian Accidents Are Primarily Caused by Tourists
Both locals and tourists are prone to pedestrian accidents.
No study or data systematically says that tourist drivers cause a higher number of fatalities in pedestrian accidents.
|Other Reasons Why Pedestrian Accidents Happen|
|Bad Weather||Heavy rain, fog, snowfall, hail and other weather conditions affect visibility and may lead to a pedestrian injury accident.|
|Driving under the influence||Driving needs full coordination of the body and a sound mind in order to make good decisions while driving.
When someone is intoxicated, their body loses control and may even have a delayed stimulus response.
|Not stopping in time to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk||Some drivers become carefree and do not yield to pedestrians.
This is disregarding the law and common courtesy.
When situations like this happen, it is likely to cause harm to pedestrians.
|Failing to maintain vehicle control||A lot of pedestrian accident injuries are due to drivers who fail to maintain control of the wheel.
This could be caused by several other factors such as the weather, distractions, etc.
|Failure to stop at stop signs||Drivers who refuse or miss to stop at stop signs are also a cause for a pedestrian accident.
Things happen very quickly when on the road and can get out of control when traffic signs are not followed.
Make sure you can separate reality from myth when it comes to pedestrian accidents in Florida. To know more about your rights when it comes to pedestrian accidents, contact Florida attorney Tom Grajek today.
“Drivers don’t usually expect walkers to be out after dark, so you need to make sure they can see you. If you’re walking during the night, wear bright colors or a reflective vest so that you’re easy to see.”
In case you get involved in a pedestrian injury accident, reach out to a personal injury attorney so that you could be guided on what to do next. You may possibly have a claim.
It is also best to seek advice from a personal injury accident attorney or a car accident lawyer to ensure that you are fairly treated by insurance companies.
Thomas C. Grajek is an expert on these cases and can schedule a free consultation today. Reach out or get in touch with us to learn more about our personal injury lawyer services.
FAQs on Myths About Pedestrian Accidents in Florida
Are pedestrian accidents common in Florida?
Yes. Pedestrian accidents are common in Florida mainly because the sun is mostly out, so people like to walk from one place to another.
How can I improve my pedestrian safety?
Always use the crosswalk. Look at both sides of the road before crossing. Do not attempt to try and beat the approaching vehicle.
What do I do after a pedestrian accident?
After a pedestrian accident, seek medical attention right away. Call the police. While waiting, document the incident. If writing is difficult, it is best to record your story through your phone’s voice recorder.