Don’t Walk on the Highway, Even if You Have Been in an Accident

A recent accident on the Florida Turnpike in Lake County outside Orlando resulted in a fatality when a motorist made the questionable decision to try and cross all lanes of traffic on foot according to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). According to an article on the incident from Click Orlando, the man crashed his vehicle on a surface road adjacent to the Turnpike, but his car ended up skidding onto the southbound lanes of the Turnpike. The man then exited his vehicle, crossed the southbound lanes of the Turnpike, hopped over the concrete barrier separating the southbound lanes from the northbound lanes, and was struck by a driver headed northbound. He was pronounced dead at the scene. All of this occurred at 9:45 p.m. The FHP is still unsure why the motorist was crossing the road at this time of night and is still investigating the accident.

Pedestrians are not permitted to walk along a highway under Florida law for the simple reason that doing so is extremely dangerous. Cars are going by at extremely fast speeds and a pedestrian is completely unprotected and likely will not survive if he or she is struck by a vehicle going 70+ mph. Even if your vehicle breaks down or runs out of gas on the freeway, you should consider what you are doing before deciding to either try to cross the road or walk on the freeway given how dangerous this can be. Nevertheless, if you are truly in a situation where this is your only option, the same motorists driving at high speeds along those freeways are responsible for still operating their vehicles safely even if a pedestrian is present where he or she is not supposed to be.

Florida Law Regarding Pedestrians on a Highway

It is illegal to walk in or on a freeway or highway in Florida or on the on-ramps or off-ramps leading onto or off of a freeway. This prohibition is absolute and does not contain any exceptions for situations such as, for example, if a motorist breaks down or runs out of gas and needs to seek help. A pedestrian in this situation may have good reason to be walking along a freeway, even if doing so is illegal. However, the answer is not to walk down the freeway unless absolutely necessary given this is exceedingly dangerous. If you are involved in an accident like in the scenario above, the motorists in the cars surrounding you still have a duty to exercise reasonable care in operating their vehicles so as to avoid harming you. This still does not mean it is a good idea to walk along a freeway.

Contact Schwed, Adams & McGinley

At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, our experienced personal injury attorneys have decades (more than 200 years combined) of legal experience representing motorists who have been injured, whether on the freeway or in any other type of accident. As a pedestrian in Florida, you should never walk on freeways like I-75 or I-95 given the speed and near-disdain with which most Florida drivers treat pedestrians. There may very well be situations where your vehicle has run out of gas or breaks down and you cannot flag someone down in order to get help, but walking along the highway to the nearest exit is still never a good idea, even if it seems like the only option available at the time. Regardless, even though you are not supposed to be walking along a highway under Florida law, motorists are still required to operate their vehicles with reasonable care around you and a motorist who fails to do so and injures you can be held responsible for your injuries under Florida law. Thus, if you were a pedestrian who was injured on a freeway in the Sunshine State, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys today at contact@schwedlaw.com or (877) 694-6079 today.