Florida is home to major metropolitan areas, but recent findings seem to prove that these roadways’ designs did not have the pedestrian in mind. A pedestrian can be anyone walking, running, skateboarding or those in wheelchairs or roller skates. A comprehensive report under an advocacy group’s National Complete Streets Coalition program shows that Florida leads the nation’s top 20 list of most deadly metro areas for pedestrians from 2016 to 2020.
Despite the pandemic’s significant disruptions in travel behavior, the study claims an alarming 62% increase in pedestrian fatalities, killing nearly 18 individuals a day. Given these dire conditions, how can you exercise caution?
Stop and look before you walk
Under the State Uniform Traffic Control, Florida’s pedestrian statutes outline the regulations you must follow when on the road. Some of the main rules ask you to:
- Obey any applicable instructions from any official traffic control signals, unless a police officer is present with specific directions.
- Walk along provided sidewalks and not on roadways designated for vehicular movement.
- Walk on the edge on the left side of the road if no sidewalks and face incoming traffic from the opposite direction.
- Not stand in the roadway for employment, business or ride solicitation.
- Allow drivers to yield the right of way at intersections.
- Allow drivers to yield the right of way, even if are no official traffic control signals and only a marked crosswalk exists.
- Not to make sudden movements, like leaving the curb or running to the vehicle’s path, thus not providing enough time for the driver to make adjustments.
- Not to cross diagonally in a roadway intersection, unless directed by any official traffic control signals.
- Not dive or jump from a public bridge.
- Be aware that violations incur noncriminal traffic infractions.
While you must always be cautious, vehicular drivers also have a duty to observe reasonable care and not cause any harm.
Crossing to safety
No matter what state you’re in, there must be shared efforts from both pedestrians and drivers. Surviving an accident’s impact may be sobering, but you must also take your legal duty and rights into consideration for a safer future on the road.