Does a Pedestrian Have the Right of Way When a Motorist is Trying to Turn Right At a Florida Intersection?

Any pedestrian who has ever tried to cross the road at a Florida intersection knows the hazards they face even where the pedestrian has the right of way in a state where drivers simply believe they always have the right of way.  Cars turning right at stop lights that are red do not have the right of way under Florida law if there is a pedestrian in the crosswalk. Unfortunately, many motorists simply ignore the law and turn anyway, even where they have a red light and there are pedestrians in the crosswalk.  This, like many of the other behaviors exhibited by Sunshine State motorists, is a serious hazard for pedestrians in Florida.

Many pedestrians who may be obeying the rules and only crossing the road when they have the right of way nevertheless must contend with drivers who think otherwise.  Plenty of motorists think they always have the right of way over a pedestrian even where the motorist is attempting to make a right turn at an intersection where the pedestrian may have a walk signal and the right of way.  The presence of a red light and a walk signal for any pedestrians simply makes no difference to these motorists.  This can cause serious safety concerns for pedestrians who may be doing everything they are supposed to and waiting until a walk signal to cross an intersection. The real tragedy of this situation is that it is the pedestrian who will suffer in such an instance because the motorist is protected in his or her car. The pedestrian is literally completely unprotected and can suffer serious injuries if the motorist ignores the law and turns anyway.  This is why, if you are a Florida pedestrian, you need to always exercise the utmost caution when crossing at any intersection, regardless of whether you have the right of way or not.

Florida Law for Pedestrian Right of Way

If you are a pedestrian crossing the road at an intersection where there is a pedestrian traffic signal, and you have a walk signal, then you have the right of way over any car that is attempting to turn right at a red light.  Cars turning right on a red light are required to give pedestrians the right of way; drivers can only proceed after first checking to make sure the coast is clear and there are no pedestrians attempting to cross the road.  It is a common misunderstanding among many motorists that cars always have the right of way and that pedestrians need to adjust their behavior to accommodate motorists; this is simply untrue and can lead to serious injuries or even death for pedestrians who encounter such motorists.

Florida Law for Motorists Regarding Turning Right at Red Lights

Florida law requires that drivers must come to a complete stop at the marked stop line before moving into the crosswalk or intersection if the driver encounters a red light and wants to make a right-hand turn.  After coming to a full and complete stop and making sure there are no pedestrians in the crosswalk, a motorist may then turn right on red at most intersections if the way is clear.  The exception to this rule is if the intersection is displaying a “NO TURN ON RED” sign, in which case a motorist is never permitted to make a right hand turn on red  However, if there is a pedestrian present in the crosswalk, then the motorist may not proceed to make a right-hand turn under any circumstances and, if he or she chooses to do so, then the motorist would be at fault and responsible for any injuries the pedestrian may suffer if there is an accident as a result.

Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A.

Pedestrian accidents in Florida occur with dangerous regularity; the state has consistently been rated the most dangerous in the country for pedestrians.  Part of this is due to the fact that motorists simply do not know or care what the law says as to who has the right of way at an intersection, which simply makes even a basic function for pedestrians like crossing the road dangerous.  At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 150 years of combined legal practice representing victims of pedestrian accidents and other types of motor vehicle accidents in Florida. If you are a pedestrian who has been injured due to the actions of a Florida motorist who turned right into an intersection and hit you when you had the right of way, you have the right under Florida law to receive compensation for your injuries, including the payment for any medical treatment you need to undergo as a result of those injuries, compensation for your pain and suffering as a result of those injuries, and other damages. Therefore, if you, a family member, or a loved one has been injured by a motor vehicle while walking on a Florida road, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A today at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation.