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6 Tips to Stay Safe as a Pedestrian in Florida
Whether you’re crossing the street, walking to work, or simply enjoying a stroll, it’s essential to be aware of the dangers around you. Being a pedestrian in Florida can be an intimidating experience; in an instant, a negligent driver could drastically alter your life and cause catastrophic injuries.
While it is impossible to control a driver’s actions, there are several steps you can take as a pedestrian to maximize your safety on the road.
From being aware of your surroundings and obeying traffic laws to investing in protective gear, these suggestions from our personal injury attorneys will keep you safe while walking in the Sunshine State.
Be Street Smart: Tips for Staying Safe as a Pedestrian
As a pedestrian, safety should be your top priority. Wherever you are going you should take precautions and stay alert at all times.
Although accidents can happen unexpectedly, there are certain measures you can take to ensure your safety as a pedestrian.
#1. Walk in the Right Places
Many pedestrians are struck and killed or badly hurt because they weren’t walking in a safe place or were jaywalking. Always use sidewalks when possible.
If there aren’t any sidewalks in the area, it is safest to walk facing the direction of traffic, this way you can see the cars approaching. If you do this, stay as far to the left as possible and exercise extreme caution.
- Don’t walk on freeways or other areas where pedestrians are prohibited
- Cross streets at a corner and always use the crosswalk.
- Don’t jaywalk
- No matter where you cross the street, always look both ways
#2. Ensure You Are Seen
It’s simple. Drivers cannot avoid pedestrians that they can’t see. And some drivers might not see you, even though you can see them. Make sure you are visible and walking where drivers are expecting pedestrians to be. If you walk at night, wear bright or reflective clothing and always endeavor to stay in well-lit areas.
In extremely dark areas, you should also carry a flashlight or invest in clothing with reflectors. Not only does this help you see where you are going, but you will also be visible to vehicles.
Note: Whenever possible, don’t walk near roads at night, dusk, or dawn. Most pedestrian accidents occur during the evening hours. If you do walk during these times, always walk on the sidewalk and stay in the light of streetlights.
#3. Cross at Crosswalks & Intersections
Drivers know that pedestrians will be on crosswalks and at intersections. When a pedestrian jaywalks, drivers may not expect them and won’t be able to react in time to avoid an accident.
The problem is, not all drivers yield to the pedestrian signal, possibly due to distracted driving or texting. As a pedestrian, you must be mindful of this and watch out for these kinds of drivers.
Just because you have the right to cross the road as a pedestrian, doesn’t mean you should just walk out into the intersection.
Make eye contact with any driver that you encounter at a crosswalk or intersection before walking forward.
Parking lots and driveways can also be quite dangerous since drivers have a limited view when they are backing out of parking spaces. Don’t be distracted by your phone and try to anticipate what drivers might do.
#4. Obey Traffic Signals
If traffic is slow, or you don’t see anyone coming, it can be tempting to cross the street while the “don’t walk” signal is on. However, cars travel much faster than you can, and may appear while you are in the middle of the intersection.
Only cross the street when the signal says that it is ok to as this guarantees you the right-of-way and lowers the risk of being hit by an oncoming vehicle.
#5. Stay Alert
Distracted driving is a big problem in Florida. This means that you need to be aware at all times.
- Don’t block your vision with hats, clothing, or sunglasses.
- Avoid texting, using the internet, or talking on the phone while walking.
- When crossing the street, refrain from using your phone so you can observe your surroundings.
- Texting while walking is distracting and will make it tricky to watch for traffic and other obstacles in your path.
Remember, your alertness could save your life.
#6. Walk Sober
Drugs and alcohol aren’t just a dangerous combination for drivers; they are also dangerous for pedestrians. All pedestrians should avoid drugs and alcohol while walking.
These substances can significantly impair your ability to walk safely and make good choices, such as determining when you should cross a busy road.
Be warned, even some prescribed medications can be problematic for pedestrians, so make sure that you read any labels and be aware of any potential side effects before you leave home.
If you are intoxicated, stay put and take public transportation or a ridesharing service.
Trust Us To Fight for You
Sometimes, no matter how careful you are as a pedestrian, a single negligent motorist is all it takes to turn your entire world upside down. If you were involved in an accident while walking, it is imperative to seek medical care and legal counsel as soon as possible.
You deserve compensation for all the expenses you incurred and our personal injury lawyers at Mickey Keenan Law. P.A. can fight on your behalf to hold the driver and their insurance company accountable.
Your fight is our fight. Contact our offices in Tampa, Riverview, Largo, and The Villages for skilled personal injury representation today.