Orlando Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Orlando claimed the top spot on the 2019 Smart Growth America pedestrian safety report for the most dangerous places for pedestrians according to the calculations of its Dangerous by Design initiative. The Dangerous by Design report accounts for the number of pedestrian deaths in relation to the amount of walking within a particular metropolitan area and other considerations. From 2010 to 2019, a total of 740 pedestrian fatalities were recorded in the Orlando-Kissimee-Sanford area, making it the deadliest metro in the nation.
According to an article published in the Orlando Sentinel, Florida’s growth and road design have fostered an environment conducive to the high speed, efficient movement of automobiles, but has created a dangerous obstacle course for bikers, walkers, and other pedestrian travelers. The elderly, tourists, and minorities constitute a disproportionately high number of the pedestrian fatalities.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, our Orlando pedestrian accident attorneys at Burnetti, P.A. can help you seek compensation justice. Get in touch with us online today to request a free case review.
Orlando Pedestrian Accidents
In what has become an ongoing epidemic in Orlando, high traffic, multiple lane roads have shown to be the most dangerous for Orlando pedestrian accidents. Pedestrian fatalities cluster along Orlando’s high volume roads, such as Orange Blossom Trail, US Highway 192, State Road 50, and State Road 436.
Orlando residents may view additional information about these and other pedestrian accidents with the use of a new tool created by Transportation for America. The interactive map allows users to search by address and obtain a street-view of potentially dangerous intersections, plus pedestrian fatality locations and information.
Pedestrian Laws in Florida
Pedestrian-related traffic laws in Florida are designed to ensure the safety of both pedestrians and drivers on the road. Understanding these laws is important for all road users.
Here is a general overview of the pedestrian laws in Florida:
- Right of Way: In Florida, pedestrians generally have the right of way at marked crosswalks and intersections, whether they are controlled by traffic signals or not. Drivers must yield to pedestrians in these areas.
- Yielding to Pedestrians: Florida law requires drivers to yield the right of way to pedestrians in marked crosswalks and at intersections when the pedestrian is in the crosswalk or steps off the curb with the intention of crossing.
- Jaywalking: Pedestrians are not allowed to cross a roadway outside of a marked crosswalk or intersection unless it is safe to do so and does not interfere with oncoming traffic. Jaywalking can result in fines.
- Traffic Signals and Crosswalks: Pedestrians must obey traffic signals at intersections with marked crosswalks. They should only cross when the pedestrian signal indicates it is safe to do so.
- Pedestrian Signals: When available, pedestrians should use pedestrian signals to guide their actions at intersections. They should not enter the roadway when the "Don't Walk" signal is displayed.
- Use of Sidewalks: Pedestrians should use sidewalks when provided. If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road facing oncoming traffic, so they can see approaching vehicles.
- No Walking on Roadways: Pedestrians are generally prohibited from walking on roadways where sidewalks are available. If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should walk on the shoulder as far away from the roadway as possible.
- Yielding to Emergency Vehicles: When an emergency vehicle with lights and sirens is approaching, pedestrians must yield the right of way by moving to the side of the road and allowing the vehicle to pass.
- No Impairment: Pedestrians are prohibited from being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while walking on the roadways. This can result in a citation or arrest.
- Special Caution for School Zones: Drivers should exercise extra caution in school zones, as there may be children present. They must come to a complete stop at crosswalks where a school crossing guard is present and follow their instructions.
Who is Liable for a Pedestrian Accident?
In a pedestrian accident, liability refers to legal responsibility for the incident and its consequences. Liability can be attributed to various parties depending on the specific circumstances of the accident.
Here are some common parties that can be held liable in a pedestrian accident:
- Driver of a Motor Vehicle: The most common scenario is when a motor vehicle driver is at fault for the accident. Drivers are legally obligated to exercise reasonable care, obey traffic laws, and be vigilant for pedestrians. If a driver's negligence, recklessness, or violation of traffic laws leads to a pedestrian accident, they can be held liable for the injuries and damages suffered by the pedestrian.
- Pedestrian: In some cases, the pedestrian may be partially or fully at fault for the accident. For example, if a pedestrian jaywalks or crosses a street against a traffic signal, and their actions contribute to the accident, they might share liability. However, it's essential to note that even if a pedestrian is partially at fault, they may still be entitled to compensation, depending on the state's rules on comparative or contributory negligence.
- Property Owners: In some situations, property owners may be liable if their negligence contributed to the accident. For instance, if a property owner fails to maintain safe sidewalks or fails to clear snow or ice, creating hazardous conditions for pedestrians, they may be held responsible for injuries that occur on their property.
- Government Entities: If a pedestrian accident occurs due to a poorly designed or maintained roadway, crosswalk, or traffic control device, the government entity responsible for road maintenance and design may be held liable. However, suing a government entity often involves special rules and limitations, and immunity may apply in certain cases.
- Manufacturers: In rare instances, a pedestrian accident may be caused by a defect in the vehicle involved. If a defective vehicle component or part contributed to the accident, the manufacturer or distributor of the defective product may be held liable through a product liability lawsuit.
- Others: Liability can extend to other parties depending on the unique circumstances of the accident. For example, if a third party's actions (like a construction company causing road hazards) played a role in the accident, they could be held liable.
Safety Tips for Motorists and Pedestrians
With the number of tourists and the unfriendly design of roadways for pedestrian use, it is important for Orlando motorists to stay mindful of everyone’s right to the roadway. A few safety tips to keep in mind for a safer journey are:
- Pedestrians can be anywhere at anytime – even where they are not expected to be.
- Pedestrians can be hard to see – for example, at night, in bad weather, or when emerging from around a parked vehicle.
- Stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
- Stop far enough back so drivers in other lanes can see the pedestrians.
- When approaching a crosswalk, drive slowly and be prepared to stop.
- Do not pass vehicles that are stopped for pedestrians.
- When turning, drivers may have to wait for a break in traffic. When that break comes, be aware of any potential pedestrians that may have stepped into path.
- Be extremely attentive in schools and in neighborhoods where children are present.
- When children are at play, be aware of both sides of the street. A child may cross to meet another child on the opposite side of the street.
- When elderly are present, they may not always see and/or hear the vehicle approaching. Take care.
- Obey the speed limit, stop signs, and red lights.
- Do not block or park in a crosswalk.
- Yield to pedestrians when turning left or right.
- No cell phone calls or texts.
- Do not drive while impaired.
- Bicyclists have as much right to the entire lane as vehicles. Use caution when passing and obey traffic laws as if passing another vehicle.
In addition to driver safety, Orlando pedestrians must also exercise caution and awareness to help reduce the chance of an accident.
- Stay in areas designated for pedestrians.
- Cross only in crosswalks.
- If no sidewalk is present, walk on the side of the road facing traffic (left side of the road).
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing and ensure the driver is not on a cell phone.
- Alcohol and drugs affect your ability to walk safely, much like a driver.
- Use extra caution when crossing a street with multiple lanes of traffic, high-speed traffic, and traffic congestion.
- Cross the street only where drivers have an unobstructed view (not from behind parked cars, hedges, etc).
- Obey Walk/Don’t Walk traffic signals.
- Do not listen to headphones or talk on a cell phone when crossing.
- Watch for vehicles turning (both left and right).
- Remember to look left, then right, then left again.
- Make it easy for drivers to see you:
- Dress in light colors.
- Wear reflective clothing during dawn/dusk and night hours.
- Carry a flashlight at night.
Call Burnetti, P.A. If You've Been Injured in an Orlando Pedestrian Accident
Orlando is the most dangerous city in the United States for pedestrians, and unfortunately, accidents do happen. If you have suffered injuries due to a negligent motorist, a personal injury attorney may be able to file a claim against the negligent party responsible for your injuries. Our Orlando pedestrian accident lawyers at Burnetti, P.A. help clients file claims, and fight for maximum compensation. For more information, call 1-888-BURNETTI.
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