What laws are pedestrians required to follow in Florida?

Just like drivers, pedestrians must obey Florida law. They have a duty to exercise reasonable caution and use common sense when walking or crossing the street. Failure to do so can mean a pedestrian can be held fully or at least partially liable for an accident.

Pedestrians are responsible for following all traffic control devices, unless told otherwise by law enforcement officers. These devices include traffic signals, signs and pavement striping.

Pedestrians must also use crosswalks when crossing streets and are not permitted to cross from one corner to another. They are also required to use sidewalks instead of walking on the roadway. If sidewalks are unavailable, they should walk along the shoulder on the left side of the roadway facing oncoming traffic.

Pedestrians have the right of way when using crosswalks at intersections, as long as the traffic signal indicates their turn to cross. All vehicles are required to yield until the pedestrian finishes crossing the street. Florida law states that pedestrians cannot suddenly walk or enter the path of an oncoming vehicle that is so close that the driver is unable to yield.

A common misconception is that drivers are always legally at fault when a pedestrian accident occurs. Under most circumstances, motor vehicles should yield the right of way to pedestrians. However, pedestrians have an equal duty to be cautious and aware of their surroundings in order to avoid accidents. Oncoming drivers may sometimes fail to stop even if pedestrians have the right of way, which may result in a crash.

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