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Driver and pedestrian rules: Safe walking tips

Pedestrians are the most susceptible to injuries in auto-pedestrian accidents. While drivers should always watch out for anyone walking in or around the roadway, it is really up to pedestrians to ensure their own safety. A previous blog discusses that the single best way for pedestrians to stay safe is to always be aware of their surroundings and what is going on with nearby drivers, which includes avoiding any distractions, like using a cellphone or listening to music.

According to the 2016 Florida Statutes, standing in a roadway to get the attention of motorists for the purpose of obtaining a job, a ride or business of any kind is illegal. If sidewalks are not present, a pedestrian should walk facing traffic on the far right side of the road. It is also against the law to walk in the road if a sidewalk is available.

All laws regarding crosswalks and crossing the road should also be followed. Whenever possible, the safest place to cross the road is within a crosswalk. However, if a crosswalk is not available, pedestrians should always try to find the most direct and quickest route. Pedestrians should also know it is illegal to cross an intersection diagonally.

Generally speaking, pedestrians almost always have the right of way, but this should never be taken for granted. A pedestrian will always come up on the losing end when they face off with a vehicle. So, to keep safe, the American Automobile Association offers some great pedestrian safety tips. They advise wearing brightly colored clothing to increase visibility, catching the attention of drivers before crossing the street and walking in areas that are well lit.