Here are seven safety tips for Florida pedestrians from pedestrian accident attorney Josh R. Jones, head of Josh Jones Law in Miami, FL, also serving the communities of Fort Lauderdale, Miami Gardens, Miramar, Lauderhill, North Miami, Hollywood, and Homestead.
If you’ve lived in Florida for long, you know how crazy and unpredictable Florida drivers can be. Florida drivers have a higher risk of accidents than drivers in other states. Still, many people do not realize that walking in Florida could also put you at increased risk of a pedestrian accident.
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are more common than you may think. In 2019 alone, more than 6,200 pedestrian fatalities occurred throughout the United States, the shocking equivalent of one pedestrian death every 85 minutes. Pedestrian accident lawyers witness the suffering of victims and their families daily, and we want to lower these numbers.
While pedestrian accidents are not entirely preventable, you can take several measures to avoid these accidents and stay safe while walking in Florida. Be sure to teach these words of wisdom to your children, too, since the safety of children is near to my heart as a father.
1. Walk on Sidewalks Wherever Possible
The safest place for pedestrians to walk is on the sidewalk. However, remember always to remain aware of traffic while walking on the sidewalk, as motor vehicle crashes sometimes result in sidewalk obstructions, telephone pole damage, or other hazards that could cross your path.
If you need to walk in the road, be sure to walk facing traffic on the outermost edge of the lane, as far from vehicles as possible. However, you will be safer walking in the grass or dirt next to the road, especially if you are walking next to busy Florida streets, to avoid being hit by a car.
2. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
Our metropolis of Miami and its surrounding cities tend to be full of heavy-traffic areas—and fast drivers. As a result, staying aware of your surroundings as you walk is essential for avoiding pedestrian accidents. Know the speed limits on the road so you can best gauge how fast cars might approach you.
Be sure to always stay alert to what’s happening around you! Becoming distracted by your phone, headphones (especially noise-canceling headphones), or other electronic devices could lead you to make a dangerous mistake on your walk.
3. Cross Only at Crosswalks or Intersections
If you need to cross to another street or the opposite side of the road, walking a bit farther until you reach a crosswalk is safer than cutting through traffic.
Designated crosswalks are the safest places to cross the road while walking in Florida, as drivers expect pedestrians to be in these areas. However, you should still watch out for cars entering the crosswalk area, especially ones turning into the crosswalk from an intersecting road.
If you cannot find a crosswalk, you should wait for a gap in traffic that will allow you to cross safely. As you cross the street, continue watching for traffic and turn back if necessary. Keep in mind that Florida law requires pedestrians to adhere to traffic control signals at intersections.
4. Be Predictable
Another important way to stay safe as a pedestrian is to always be predictable, especially to drivers who may glance at you. If drivers can predict your movements, they can interact with and navigate around you more safely on the road.
Cutting out in front of cars, darting to cross an intersection as the light changes, and walking on the right side of the road (instead of against the traffic) are all unpredictable actions that could cause drivers to overlook you.
5. Wear Visible Clothing
As a pedestrian, you want to ensure that drivers always notice your presence and stop for you whenever necessary. Wearing highly visible clothing is one way to ensure that drivers will see you as you wait to cross an intersection or walk along the road’s shoulder.
If you are walking during the day, wearing bright, neon colors will make you more noticeable to drivers. However, at night, you should always wear reflective clothing and use a flashlight to make your presence known.
6. Make Eye Contact with Drivers When Crossing
You should never assume that a driver sees you, even if you are in a visible location and wearing bright clothing. Drivers have many stimuli to pay attention to, and overlooking a pedestrian on busy Miami streets is all too easy for them.
Before you cross in front of a car, be sure to make eye contact with the driver and wave to make yourself more visible and know that they have seen you. If a driver does not make eye contact in return, they may not be aware you are about to cross—putting you at a greater risk of a pedestrian accident.
7. Bring Your Wallet and Phone with You
One of the essential safety tips for pedestrians is to prepare yourself in case an accident does happen. Keeping your phone with you when you walk will ensure that you can call for help if you need it following an accident. Similarly, carrying your wallet— along with your ID— will help emergency responders identify you if necessary. To learn more, download Your Free Personal Injury Toolkit.
Call Josh Jones Law, P.A. Personal Injury Law Firm for Help After an Accident
- Pedestrian accidents can be scary and expensive, but hiring a personal injury attorney can help ease your financial burden. Josh Jones Law, P.A., serves clients in the Greater Miami area, including:
- Fort Lauderdale
- Miami Gardens
- North Miami
We care about our community and the clients we serve, and we want to help make Miami a safer place for everyone, especially walkers and bicyclists. If you have sustained an injury in a pedestrian accident, our team will do whatever possible to help you secure compensation from negligent drivers and their insurance companies. Be sure to contact Josh Jones Law, P.A. today at 305-239-4878 in Miami, FL, or complete our online form to schedule your free consultation. Since we operate on a contingency fee basis, you will not pay any charges until we win your case.
Copyright © 2021. Josh Jones Law, P.A. All rights reserved.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
Josh Jones Law, P.A.
15715 South Dixie Highway Suite 214
Miami, FL 33157