Having helped injured Floridians who’ve been seriously injured by a car or truck while walking, running or bike riding along a Florida roadway, including US-1, Biscayne Boulevard or Federal Highway, Miami personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky is often asked by friends and acquantances, “which side of the road should I be running along?” to avoid being injured as a pedestrian in a car accident.
Our first answer is always the same, use a sidewalk or path when they are available. Staying out of the road is always the best and safest practice to avoid being the victim of an accident. In fact, a police officer can write you a citation for failing to use an available sidewalk, pursuant to Florida Statute section 316.130, which specifically states “where sidewalks are provided, no pedestrian shall, unless required by the circumstances, walk along and upon the portion of a roadway paved for vehicular traffic.”
And when there is no safe walkway, you should always run or walk, facing traffic, and you will be acting safer and within the law. Exercising while facing traffic gives you the best opportunity to see whatever danger may be approaching, and is the only legal way to walk or run along a street. In fact, Florida Statutes codify that walking facing oncoming traffic is the only legal way a pedestrian may walk along a roadway. Florida Statute Section 316.130(4) requires pedestrians and runners to use the shoulder on the left side of the road in relation to the direction they are moving, so they are facing traffic approaching from the opposite direction.
In addition to using the proper side of the roadway, we urge pedestrians, runners and cyclists to leave their music at home. When you are in a potentially dangerous situation, which is what you are in when you are in close proximity to vehicle traffic, it is always best to be fully alert and aware of your surroundings. Using your common sense, and moving against traffic can help prevent you from being injured in an accident.