Tips for Safely Navigating Miami Streets as a Pedestrian
Pedestrian safety in Miami, Florida, can be a concern due to various factors. The city’s bustling streets, heavy traffic, and sometimes aggressive driving behavior can create a challenging environment for pedestrians. Additionally, the layout of some roads, long distances between crosswalks, and inadequate pedestrian infrastructure in certain areas might make it more difficult and unsafe for pedestrians to cross the roads.
High volumes of vehicles, including cars, buses, and motorcycles, along with crowded intersections, contribute to a higher risk for pedestrians. Driver distraction, disregard for pedestrian right-of-way, and a culture of fast-paced driving in certain areas can lead to accidents. That’s why we want to shed light on important tips for safely navigating the streets of Miami as a pedestrian.
When Do Pedestrians Have the Right of Way in Miami?
In crosswalks with traffic controls, pedestrians have the right of way on the walk signal under Florida Law. When the light says, “Don’t Walk,” pedestrians are prohibited from crossing. Once a pedestrian legally enters a crosswalk, drivers must yield, even if the light changes, allowing the pedestrian to cross the street safely. Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks with no signal, and drivers are required to yield. Roundabouts have splitter islands separating approach and exit lanes. Pedestrians use these splitter islands as crosswalks and may only cross a single direction of traffic at a time.
Drivers in Florida must slow down or stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, even when there are no traffic controls. Drivers approaching red lights must stop before entering the intersection or crosswalk. Except where prohibited, a right turn on red is allowed when drivers have a view of approaching traffic, but they must yield the right of way to pedestrians. Drivers on one-way streets making left turns onto other one-way streets may turn left at red lights after stopping, but they must yield to pedestrians and other traffic. Pedestrians also have the right of way in parking lots.
How Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen?
Pedestrian accidents can happen for a variety of reasons and often involve some type of negligence. Common causes in Miami include:
- Driver distraction: This includes activities like texting, talking on the phone, adjusting the radio, or other distractions that take a driver’s attention away from the road.
- Drunk driving: Alcohol or drug impairment affects a driver’s judgment, reaction time, and ability to focus, increasing the risk of accidents involving pedestrians.
- Speeding and reckless driving: Speeding reduces a driver’s reaction time, making it more difficult to avoid pedestrians who suddenly appear in their path.
- Left turns by drivers: Accidents can occur when drivers fail to notice pedestrians while making left turns at intersections.
It’s always important to remember that responsible behavior, such as adhering to traffic rules, minimizing distractions, and increasing attention to your surroundings, is crucial as a driver or pedestrian.
How Can You Stay Safe as a Pedestrian in Miami?
Although drivers in Florida have a duty of care to pedestrians, you may not be able to rely on them to uphold that duty. It is best to walk defensively with the following safety tips:
- Do not wear headphones that block out sounds around you. It is important to be able to hear approaching vehicles.
- Use crossing signals, crosswalks, and marked pedestrian paths whenever possible.
- Obey traffic signals, but never without a double-check. Look in all directions before stepping onto the road, and remain alert to traffic from all directions.
- Do not assume oncoming vehicles will stop at the red light or yield to pedestrians while turning. Make eye contact with drivers and wait for them to stop before proceeding.
- Plan your walk in advance, choosing the safest route with sidewalks and pedestrian crossings.
- If you must walk on a road with no sidewalks, walk on the side, facing oncoming traffic as far off the road as possible.
How Can an Attorney Help If You Have Been Hurt?
After a serious pedestrian accident, your Miami Personal Injury Lawyer can help you seek compensation for your losses. Damages you may be entitled to claim compensation for include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Pain and Suffering
Your attorney has your best interest in mind when handling your case. At Justin Morgan Law, we take personal injury personally. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to aggressively pursue your claim while you focus on recovery. We’ll file a lawsuit against any third party that contributed to your injuries and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.