There are a lot of rules of the road, and it’s hard to remember them all. It never hurts to run through a few reminders, especially when it comes to situations that tend to provoke confusion, like who really has the “right of way” to carry on without stopping when a pedestrian and a motor vehicle cross paths.
In Florida, who yields to whom depends on the situation. The law works like this:
- Pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks, including unmarked crosswalks at intersections. While pedestrians are generally expected to exercise caution and obey the traffic signals, drivers are required to slow down or stop when they see someone walking through any crosswalk or intersection.
- Drivers have the right of way when a pedestrian attempts to cross the road diagonally or when someone is “jaywalking” by crossing in the middle of a street instead of at intersections.
So does that give a driver the right to barrel ahead when they encounter a pedestrian in the road when they shouldn’t be there? Absolutely not.
The law also states, “Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle…” It’s on a driver’s shoulders to remember that they have the power to prevent serious accidents with bicyclists and pedestrians.
Auto-pedestrian accidents can lead to fatalities and life-altering injuries from which the victim may never fully recover. If you’ve been hurt by a negligent driver or your loved one was killed, find out more about your right to seek compensation. While money won’t restore everything, it can help provide for your family’s needs.