How a Pedestrian Can Avoid Being Hit in a Crosswalk

Video Transcription:
In Florida when a pedestrian steps into a crosswalk, they're going to have the right of way. There's a couple of exceptions, one being if they step into the path of a car who has already committed or their walking against the light. But otherwise, the pedestrian does have the right of way. I think what too many people do is they assume that when they step into the crosswalk as a pedestrian the cars will stop. You simply can't make this assumption.

I think the safest thing that a pedestrian can do in Florida to prevent being hit by a vehicle in a crosswalk is to make sure that you don't go if a vehicle is approaching and they're not making the sign to you that they are stopping... the vehicle is slowing, they're nose is dipping, or they're clearly slowing down and they've made eye contact.

I've talked to many pedestrians who thought that a car was going to stop but didn't. Or, I have talked to pedestrians who made eye contact with the driver and presumed the driver saw them and was stopping but the driver didn't. As a pedestrian, the consequences of being hit are so great. My recommendation is you don't step into the crosswalk until you know for a fact that the car sees you and they're stopping.

The other thing you have to do is kind of have your head on a swivel. I know that you're not at fault and I know that you've got the right of way but you can't assume that cars turning left or turning right from the intersection are actually going to stop or have even seen you. You have to be constantly alert from the fact that they may be not even recognizing that you're there. So, you have to be proactive in terms of looking around to make sure that someone isn't coming against you.

And finally, when you're walking across two or three lanes of traffic and the first car is stopped, be very careful that you don't step into the path of a car on the other side of that first one who's coming through the open lane, not paying attention to the stop light or not paying attention to the fact you may be in the walkway yourself.

These don't cast or put the burden on the pedestrian or you that you are somehow at fault for the accident. These are just self-defense mechanisms that I recommend that everyone use when they're walking in Florida.

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Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.