Let’s say that a vehicle has been in a parking lot, in an alley or in a shopping center and they are about to leave that area and pull out across a lane of traffic in order to go in the opposite direction. The law in Florida is very clear that the vehicle that is exiting has a responsibility or duty to yield for any vehicle that is approaching in that lane that they intend to cross.
But another aspect of a car leaving one of these areas would be their responsibility to yield to anyone who is a pedestrian on a sidewalk that they have to cross or even if there is no designated sidewalk, a path or an area where a sidewalk could be, or anyone who is moving along that area before the roadway. So, a vehicle leaving an alley way or a parking lot has to yield to a pedestrian or cyclist before they reach the lane of travel that they intend to cross or enter.
We see this in our practice frequently, particularly in cycling cases. People are watching for traffic but they’re not watching for someone on a sidewalk, especially for someone that is coming from their right and they really intend to be looking to their left to enter the traffic lane. This breaches their duty to yield the right of way and creates liability or responsibility on the driver when they failed to yield the right of way in these situations.
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