Right Turns At Intersections A Hazard For Pedestrians
Pedestrians are always at a disadvantage when in close proximity to moving vehicles. There are, however, certain situations that tend to be particularly dangerous for pedestrians. Intersections, which, with their traffic lights and crosswalks are supposed to be safe for pedestrians, often prove to be one of the most dangerous places for pedestrians to be. This situation tends to be particularly perilous when vehicles are allowed to turn right on red lights where pedestrians have both crosswalks and a walk signal. Collisions between pedestrians and motorists, even when at lower speeds, are extremely dangerous for pedestrians, who are much more likely to suffer catastrophic, and even deadly injuries. For help holding someone accountable for your own motorist-pedestrian accident, please reach out to one of our experienced Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyers today.
Why is Turning Right on a Red Light So Dangerous?
It has become a habit for many drivers who enter intersections and who intend to turn right, to simply pull up to the light and completely ignore the crosswalk, despite the fact that motorists are legally required to stop and wait for pedestrians to clear the area before actually starting to turn. In fact, many drivers roll through these red lights completely, without making any attempt to stop. This kind of conduct can have devastating consequences for pedestrians, who may have just stepped off of the curb to cross, or may be well into the crosswalk itself. In either case, the injuries sustained in these collisions often prove to be serious, including everything from broken bones and lacerations to head trauma and organ damage.
Florida Red Light Laws
Under Florida law, drivers are required to come to a complete stop at the solid white line on the roadway when they encounter a red light in an intersection. This same rule applies when attempting to turn right in a location where such a maneuver is legal, meaning that drivers must also stop at the line and check for pedestrians and other vehicles before moving into the crosswalk section in order to complete a right hand turn. In some cases, even this is not allowed if there is a red arrow accompanied by a “No right turn on red” sign.
Ultimately, while Florida traffic laws do attempt to protect pedestrians from injury, it is individuals themselves who are in the best position to ensure their own safety. For instance, pedestrians are generally encouraged to pause before entering an intersection where right turns on red lights are permitted, and to make sure they look both ways before stepping into a crosswalk. While taking these steps doesn’t guarantee a person’s safety, it can go a long way towards preventing a pedestrian accident caused by a driver’s negligence.
Schedule a Consultation with Our Legal Team Today
To speak with an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer about your own pedestrian accident, including whether you could be entitled to monetary compensation for your losses, please call us at Boone & Davis. We can be reached by phone at 954-566-9919 or via online message.