Pedestrian Deaths on Limited Access Roads Like Freeways in Florida

An issue that has gotten much publicity lately as a result of the death of NFL quarterback Dwayne Haskins on April 9th on I-595 in Broward County is the issue of pedestrian deaths along limited access roads like freeways and highways in the Sunshine State, particularly in South Florida. Recent media reports have disclosed that, in calls to 911 that were recently released by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), Haskins’s wife told the emergency dispatcher that her husband had run out of gas and was walking towards a freeway exit to get gas, but that he was not answering his phone. She further reported that Haskins had promised to call her once he gassed back up and was headed to his destination, but she never received that call. Witnesses are also reported to have told investigators on the scene that Haskins was struck by multiple vehicles, including a dump truck driving in the freeway’s center lane and another vehicle that was attempting to veer towards the left and away from the pro football player. However, that second vehicle’s driver was unable to swerve completely out of the way in time, with his or her right side tires still striking the football player. A homicide investigation has been opened by FHP, which normally takes approximately 90 days to complete according to FHP personnel.

Another man was killed on April 23rd while walking on I-95 northbound near Broward Boulevard in Broward County when a car in the outside lane hit the pedestrian at 12:45 a.m. The pedestrian apparently broke the windshield of the car. In addition to this incident and the Dwayne Haskins tragedy on April 9th, a pedestrian was killed on April 8th on I-75 in Miami-Dade County when he was hit by a commercial landscaping truck. More details are expected to come out regarding each of these incidents, but what they reflect is a disturbing trend in motor vehicle crashes involving pedestrians on Florida highways. Yes, those pedestrians are not supposed to be walking along a highway under Florida law, but this does not mean that the motorists driving at high speeds along those freeways are exempt from driving carefully around the pedestrians.

Florida Law Regarding a Pedestrian on Limited Access Roads Such as Freeways

It is illegal to walk in or on a limited access road such as a freeway or highway in Florida. Section 316.130(18), Florida Statutes, which regulates where pedestrians are permitted to walk on the road, provides that “No pedestrian shall walk upon a limited access facility or a ramp connecting a limited access facility to any other street or highway.” Nevertheless, while this prohibition is absolute, it ignores the fact that sometimes someone may need to get gas or seek help if his or her car suffers a breakdown. Therefore, the pedestrian may have good reason to be walking along a limited access road, even if doing so is not only illegal but also exceedingly dangerous. In addition, even if you were breaking the law by walking down the highway, 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.

Contact Schwed Adams & McGinley

At Schwed Adams & McGinley, our experienced personal injury attorneys have decades of legal experience representing pedestrians who have been injured by motor vehicles on limited access roads like freeways or highways and those injured in other types of motor vehicle accidents and all variety of personal injury scenarios. As a pedestrian in Florida, you are not supposed to be walking on limited access roads like I-75 or I-95 given that ensuring your own safety begins with you. However, 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, so you are forced to seek help by walking along the highway to the nearest exit. Regardless of the fact that you are not supposed to be walking along a highway, 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 limited access road in the Sunshine State, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys today at contact@schwedlaw.com or (877) 694-6079 today.