Crossing Roads Between Stopped Cars

By: Glen Wieland

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I read, with much sadness, about a young woman who died while crossing a busy highway in Central Florida.  She crossed in a non-designated crosswalk and entered the highway between stopped cars.  She did not see an oncoming vehicle and the driver of the vehicle did not see her which led to a fatal injury.

Pedestrian crosswalks and signals are designated for the safety of pedestrians.  The State of Florida, it’s cities, and counties go to a great expense adding crosswalks to our roadways for this purpose.  Florida law states that if you are a pedestrian and are not crossing the road at a designated crosswalk,  you may be held responsible should you be hit by an oncoming vehicle.  If you are injured, you will likely incur extensive  medical bills and lost wages, which could place you in a dire financial situation.

Crossing a busy road between stopped cars is both unnecessary and extremely dangerous, whether on-foot or driving a car. Don’t put yourself in this perilous situation when simply using a crosswalk could save your life.

Another dangerous driving situation often occurs when an individual is approaching an intersection and attempts to make a turn across traffic without a clear view of each lane of oncoming traffic.  If you cannot see a vehicle in the oncoming traffic lanes, the driver in the oncoming lanes may not be able to see you either.

In a different scenario, an individual in another lane may signal to alert you that your path is clear, and it is, therefore, safe to enter the intersection.  If an accident occurs as a result of this scenario, multiple parties may have contributed to this accident, i.e., you, for entering the intersection into oncoming traffic, the driver signaling that it is safe to proceed or even the party in the oncoming traffic lane. In theses cases resulting in accidents, it is often difficult to stop the signaling driver in order to retrieve pertinent information.  However, with traffic cameras installed at many intersections in Florida, the owner of the vehicle that signaled the driver to proceed may still be able to be located and held responsible for contributing to the crash.

In the event that the person signaling you to proceed into the intersection cannot be determined, you may be able to make an uninsured motorist claim under your policy of insurance.  The person would be considered a “phantom” driver under this policy of insurance.

A jury in either scenario, the pedestrian walking outside of a designated crosswalk or you turning into on-coming traffic, may find that each of you contributed to, if not caused, the accident. Protect yourself and your family by never taking unnecessary risks.

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