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Wheels vs. Heels: Sharing the Road with Pedestrians

As a pedestrian, the best protection from physical danger you’re likely to have is the denim on your jeans. What’s worse is that, even during the winter season in Florida, it can be warm enough to rock a pair of shorts and flip flops. With such a small amount of clothing on, an under-dressed pedestrian can expect to receive serious injuries if they are hit by a motor vehicle—many of these accidents are fatal.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not claiming that a lack of clothing is causing pedestrians to become injured or killed by drivers. Instead, I’m outlining the obvious fact that pedestrians are more likely to be hospitalized in an accident than their car-driving counterparts.

How can we stop this? Since true accidents are relatively unpreventable, the only thing we can do is raise awareness for driver’s to keep a keen eye out for foot-travelers. As for you, pedestrians, it may benefit you to glance over Florida’s laws, rights, and regulations; some of them could surprise you, like the fact that jaywalking is actually ‘legal’ in Florida.

Tips for Drivers:

  • If you’re turning right on red, treat the light as a stop sign; come to a complete stop before the crosswalk and check thoroughly for not only cars, but pedestrians eager to cross. Objects on the side of the road may obstruct your vision of a person, so don’t rule out the possibility.
  • In parking lots, always assume that a car or person is going to pull out in front of you. Have your foot prepared if the need to apply the brakes arises unexpectedly. Children and adults alike often skip, run, and horseplay in parking lots both to and from the business or residence; being prepared for such could save a life.
  • In residential areas especially, following behind a bouncing ball or children’s toy is often the child playing with it. Take no risks; treat the toy or ball as if it were a precious life and proceed with caution. When the child unexpectedly runs in front of your car and you’re able to maintain control, you’ll be glad you did.

Tips for Pedestrians:

  • Cross large streets in sections if available. When the road is so large that there’s a middle median to stop on, take advantage of such. Just because the road was clear when you looked before crossing the first half, doesn’t mean the second half is still clear 15 seconds later. Take a break, look again, and safely continue on your path.
  • When crossing a 4-way intersection, be prepared for a distracted driver to right-turn into your path. Walk only when you’ve got a walk signal on your crossing light, but don’t trust the machine with your life. Giving a quick “left, right, left” look could mean the difference between life and death.
  • In parking lots, especially gas stations, peak over or around parked cars to see oncoming traffic. If you step out into car territory before checking for danger, it could be too late to reverse your decision.
  • Yes, even though jaywalking is legal in Florida, it’s not recommended. The right-of-way shifts if a pedestrian is not on a crosswalk, so utilize them whenever possible to secure your safety and civil liability.


The money to pay off the overwhelming medical bills and other expenses that pile-up after an accident has to come from somewhere. When injuries received due to someone else’s negligence can be fixed with a Band-Aid, forgiving the at-fault party can be easy, but when more and more zeros are being added to the end of your hospital bill, your well-being is dangling by a thread.

Don’t let someone else’s lack of care ruin this important time in your life. Whether you or a loved one has been injured, or if you’re fighting on behalf of a family member or friend that has lost their life due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for significant financial compensation. Here at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we try to make it as hassle-free as possible for our potential clients by offering a free consultation and case evaluation. This way, you can find out if we’re the right ones for you before you hire us.

Not enough? We’ll also promise to remain free-of-charge unless we secure the compensation that you are entitled to as a victim of negligence. In other words, we won’t bill you for our time and experienced litigation services unless we get the money you deserve.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756

Practice Area: Pedestrian Accidents