In an ideal world, all road users would strictly follow traffic regulations and drive defensively to ensure the safety of others. Unfortunately, statistics indicate that this perfect scenario does not exist. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there are more than 401,500 total motor vehicle crashes across the state every year. Almost 129,000 of these collisions occur in South Florida, which amounts to around 350 car accidents daily. In any given 24-hour period, three people lose their lives, and 185 victims are injured in auto crashes.
Many drivers rely on signage to guide them in following traffic laws, but there are some regulations that you will not see posted. An important set of rules governs the right of way, a concept that is sometimes misunderstood. Failures in this area are a top cause of collisions, so trust a Miami car accident lawyer for help with proving fault. You can also benefit from reviewing the right-of-way laws many Florida motorists do not know.
Intersections With Stop Signs
These are some basic traffic rules, but drivers can still use a reminder when approaching an intersection controlled by one or more stop signs. Generally, the first motorist to arrive at the line and come to a complete stop has the right of way over those that do so afterward. In addition:
- When two vehicles approach a three-way intersection, the one on the through-road has the right of way.
- At a four-way intersection, the vehicles to the right proceed first when multiple cars arrive at the same time.
When the intersection is controlled by other signals or signage, these are the regulations to follow. There may be turn arrows and corresponding turn lights, restrictions on turns, and different rules for lanes traveling in the same direction. Plus, motorists must also comply with any traffic controls printed on the surface of the road. The paint may indicate a crosswalk or designated bike lane.
Some intersections implement a flashing yellow left turn light, and some drivers are confused about what it means. They know the red/green turn signs. To clarify, the blinking yellow arrow means yield to oncoming traffic before turning left. However, when there is no left turn light present at an intersection, the same rule applies. A vehicle turning left must yield the right of way before starting the maneuver.
Pedestrians and Right of Way
People on foot are considered vulnerable road users, so Florida traffic laws extend protections for their safety. Pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk when crossing with a green light OR a Walk sign. Walkers must also follow traffic laws, so jaywalking would be a violation.
Get Skilled Legal Help From Our Miami Car Accident Attorneys
To learn more about how violations of traffic laws serve as evidence in an auto crash case, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA, at (305) 371-6000 or via our website. We can set up a complimentary case evaluation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.