Special Considerations For Visually Impaired Pedestrians in Florida
Pedestrian safety is an important issue here in Florida and for good reason. Pedestrian accidents are an all-too-common problem throughout the Sunshine State and result in hundreds of deaths and thousands of serious injuries every year. For blind pedestrians and others who are visually impaired, crosswalk safety is an especially important issue, and examples in the news continue to demonstrate why this is the case.
What Example of the Potential Implications Faced by Visually Impaired Pedestrians Was Recently in the News?
Bay News 9 recently reported that a busy Pasco County crosswalk needs enhancements so those pedestrians who are visually impaired can safely cross the street. The state is not only evaluating the intersection but has already connected with a mobility specialist from Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind to work directly with a local visually impaired man who uses a guide dog for assistance. The man asserted to the news outlet that one of the biggest issues is the fact that there are no audible beacons at the location. Additionally, he would like to see some changes made to the signal patterns. Because of the current state of the intersection, he and his guide dog recently became stuck right in the middle of a crosswalk and almost got hit by two cars.
Understand That Traffic Must Yield to Visually Impaired Pedestrians
Florida law outlines how drivers should operate around visually impaired pedestrians on the road. Vehicles approaching a crosswalk or intersection must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing or entering the roadway who has a guide dog, uses a cane or walking stick that is white in color, or utilizes some other visible means of identification. The law also stipulates that no one who is not blind or visually impaired is allowed to use a cane that is white in color. In other words, people cannot pretend to be blind just to skip traffic. However, and importantly, it is not mandatory for a blind person to use a guide dog or cane – this section merely indicates how drivers must act around those who do use them.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in a Pedestrian Accident?
While many visually impaired pedestrians are perfectly capable of making accurate and reliable street crossing decisions like those of normally sighted pedestrians, we all rely on the help of the authorities and lawmakers who are committed to making the task of crossing the street safer and easier for pedestrians. But sadly, even if you follow proper traffic laws, someone else’s negligence can still result in you being hurt. If you or someone you know has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you should reach out to an experienced legal team that can evaluate the circumstances of your injuries and help you understand your rights and your legal options. As the Tampa personal injury attorneys at the Pendas Law Firm, we are team you want on your side. Reach out today to begin.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, Ocala, West Palm Beach, Bradenton, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville and Daytona Beach areas.