First of all, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 6,283 pedestrians died in 2018. And, 26% of these fatalities occur from nighttime pedestrian accidents. Unfortunately, non-fatal vehicle accidents injured even more pedestrians.
Granted, pedestrian accidents can still happen during the day. But, the night offers different factors that contribute to these pedestrian accidents. Furthermore, knowing these nighttime factors is fundamental in determining the responsible party.
Who is Responsible for Pedestrian Accidents?
Consequently, determining fault for a nighttime pedestrian accident is difficult. And, will depend on the details of the accident. Because both pedestrians and drivers have responsibilities they must adhere to. As a result, if either party is negligent to these responsibilities, they are liable. So, what are the responsibilities of drivers and pedestrians?
- Remain distraction-free while driving.
- Drive the speed limit.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Always use directional signals when turning.
- Obey all traffic control devices.
- Use caution in bad weather.
- Do not drive under the influence.
- Be aware of your surroundings and don’t walk distracted.
- Follow traffic signals.
- Use crosswalks or pedestrian pathways.
- Don’t jaywalk or dart out into traffic.
- Avoid crossing highways without pedestrian paths.
Nighttime Factors in a Pedestrian Accident
So, several factors come into play with regard to nighttime pedestrian accidents. Thus, increasing the chance of a pedestrian accident. And, some of these factors making walking at night more dangerous include:
- Low Visibility – One of the most common factors in nighttime pedestrian accidents due to low lit areas.
- Impairment – Typically, more people tend to drive at night while under the influence of alcohol.
- Weather Conditions – Factors like heavy rain, fog, or snow will make it hard to see while driving. And combined with the darkness of the night can make it even worse.
- Pedestrian Actions – When pedestrians wear dark clothes while walking at night can make it difficult to see them. Especially, in poorly lit areas.
Pedestrian Accident Florida Law
Although, drivers have the responsibility to drive carefully and follow the rules of the road. So, they can avoid accidents with other vehicles and pedestrians. Likewise, is true for pedestrians. While Florida has several laws that apply to pedestrians, the law most relevant to pedestrians is Florida Statute 316.130. Thus, here are some of the main points of the law:
- Pedestrians must follow the rules of the road, obeying traffic signs, and signals.
- They must also use a sidewalk if it is available. And, if the road does not have a sidewalk pedestrians should walk on the shoulder of the road facing traffic.
- When crossing the road pedestrians need to use a crosswalk. Unless a crosswalk is not present, then they should wait for traffic to clear.
- Should not cross an intersection diagonally. Except for marked intersections that allow crossing diagonally.
Consequently, any pedestrian caught violating this statute could receive a fine of $15. Or, even worse they don’t get caught, instead, they get hit by a vehicle. Now, the pedestrian can share in the responsibility for their injuries.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
Finally, walking is great exercise. But, it is important to stay safe and use caution when walking near roadways. Especially, when walking at night. For this reason, we put together some tips to help keep you safe.
- Be predictable.
- Follow the rules of the road, obeying traffic signs, and signals.
- Never assume drivers can see you. Make sure you make eye contact with approaching drivers.
- Increase your visibility. Wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.
- Use crosswalks or intersections when crossing the street.
- When possible walk on a sidewalk or pedestrian pathway. Or, walk on the shoulder and facing traffic if these are not available.
- Don’t walk distracted. Avoid using your mobile devices while walking.
CONTACT A TAMPA AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.
Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.329.3491.