Let’s face it, many drivers are not looking for joggers or runners. Jim knows this from experience as he’s been a runner most of his life. Regardless of how often someone runs, there are many times people outside to exercise are forced to share the road with vehicles.
Many of our Florida neighborhoods do not have sidewalks, leaving joggers nowhere else to run but the streets. Neighborhoods and streets without sidewalks also commonly lack a shoulder or protected area just off the driving lanes for runners or joggers.
When on one of these roads, joggers have to make the choice to run with traffic or opposing it. The law requires joggers, walkers and runners to travel against traffic when they are on the road. We have all heard stories of the person who was struck by a vehicle they never heard or saw coming from behind them because they were running with traffic. While some runners feel more comfortable running with traffic, running against traffic gives you a greater opportunity to see what is coming and avoid an accident. Despite what you may feel, it’s safer.
While we believe drivers have the greater responsibility to be observant of those on foot because of the danger their vehicle poses, understand that people on foot can be found responsible for motor vehicle accidents by jaywalking, crossing mid block, crossing the road between traffic, darting out into the roads, walking between parked cars or other obstacles. In some cases, the fault of the driver is clear. But, in some collisions with a pedestrian the police may side with the vehicle operator and find the pedestrian to have been at fault.
Pedestrians who are deemed to be at fault are usually people putting themselves on the road in front of moving cars or entering the roadway from a place where it is difficult to see a person. This can be avoided by following simple safety rules for pedestrians: only cross at crosswalks or intersections when the walk signal is present, look both ways before crossing, make eye contact with drivers as they approach the intersection, etc.
Please understand, even in situations where there may be a legitimate argument the pedestrian contributed to causing the collision, it does not necessarily mean their case cannot be successfully settled. We have many years of experience handling cases in which it was alleged the pedestrian was in the wrong. A thorough and careful investigation of all the facts often allows us to prove fault was on the driver as well.
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian collision you no doubt have many questions for which you need answers. Simply pick up the phone and call, we will be glad to help. There’s never a charge to discuss your case.
Even if you are partially at fault for your injuries, we may still be able to help.