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Sarasota Personal Injury: Pedestrians Do NOT Always Have Right of Way

When a pedestrian suffers a Sarasota personal injury after being struck by a motor vehicle, many people automatically assume that the driver is at fault. The well-known phrase "pedestrians have the right of way" gives rise to this misconception. Under Florida traffic law, however, this is not always the case. The unique facts and circumstances of each accident must be analyzed to determine fault.

Fortunately for Floridians, the sunshine state does have laws in place that require motorists to afford greater caution in areas where pedestrians may share the roadways. This is especially important given the number of individuals who choose to walk on Florida streets due to the beautiful weather and easy access to oceans and lakes. The following is a brief list of key factors of these laws designed to prevent Sarasota pedestrian accidents.

1. Just because a crosswalk is unmarked does not mean it is not really a "crosswalk." Under Florida law, the rules apply regardless.
2. Vehicles are required to yield to pedestrians having the right of way in an intersection with a clearly marked crosswalk.
3. Cars must remain stopped to allow that pedestrian to cross the roadway if there is signage, a traffic signal, or the pedestrian uses a permitted hand signal, and the pedestrian is either:

a. in a crosswalk
b. steps into the crosswalk and is on the half of the roadway in which a car is traveling
c. is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway to put them in danger

4. When a car is stopped at a crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of a car approaching from the rear must not overtake and pass the car.
5. Regardless of any other traffic law, all Florida motorists must:

a. exercise due care to avoid a collision with a pedestrian
b. give a warning when necessary
c. exercise careafter seeing any child or any incapacitated person

Unfortunately for victims of Florida pedestrian accidents, injuries are often severe following a collision. Contact an experienced Sarasota personal injurylawyer for more information on potential claims and damages. For a free consultation, complete our online submission form or call our office at (888) 409-3805.