Florida’s Crosswalk Laws
With its year-round balmy weather, Florida is a popular place for pedestrians. Unfortunately, this also means that, with the increasing number of cars on the road, pedestrians are also more at risk of being involved in a collision. Often, these accidents occur while pedestrians are lawfully using crosswalks, which means that the motorists can be held liable for their negligence in causing an accident.
Under Florida’s traffic regulations regarding pedestrians, drivers in the state are required to:
- Yield to pedestrians who have stepped into the crosswalk legally;
- Remain stopped if a pedestrian is in the crosswalk on the driver’s side of the road, or approaching that side of the road, and is within one travel lane;
- Refrain from passing other vehicles that are stopped at the crosswalk; and
- Stop when turning, even when there is a green light, if there is a pedestrian in the crosswalk on the road they’re turning into.
It’s also important to note that in Florida, all sides of an intersection are considered crosswalks, even when there are no crosswalk markings. This means that drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing at intersections, regardless of whether there is a traffic signal, or right-of-way markings. The only exception to this applies when there are street signs stating that the road is closed to pedestrians.
Pedestrians and the Right-of-Way
Under Florida law, drivers must yield to pedestrians if they enter a signal-controlled crosswalk when the “Walk” signal is lit, or at any non-signal controlled crosswalk. Pedestrians in Florida do not, however, always have the right-of-way. For instance, pedestrians at crosswalks with traffic signals must yield to other drivers if the signal shows a “Don’t Walk” sign or the light is red. When entering a crosswalk that has no signal, pedestrians are barred from crossing the road unless drivers have been given enough time to see them and come to a stop.
Proving a Crosswalk Accident Claim
To establish liability for a pedestrian accident, the injured party will need to provide proof that the driver violated a pedestrian traffic law. Necessary evidence could include:
- The police report, which will note whether the driver failed to properly yield the right-of-way;
- Photos from the scene of the accident, including skid marks on the asphalt, which can help establish whether the driver attempted to hit the brakes;
- Eyewitness statements, which can help determine whether someone was in a crosswalk at the time of the crash, whether the signal indicated the pedestrian’s right-of-way, or how fast the vehicle was driving; and
- Testimony from experts, like reconstruction specialists who can examine skid marks and the vehicle’s data recorder to help establish fault.
In addition to this evidence, injured parties will also need to provide proof of their losses, including bills and invoices for medical treatment and pay stubs recording lost wages.
Reach Out to Our Fort Lauderdale Legal Team