We must first define a crosswalk and then distinguish marked versus unmarked crosswalks. The Florida statutes [316.003(15) Fla. Stat. 2017] define a crosswalk as:
(a) That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sidesof the highway, measured from the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traversable roadway.
(b) Any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.
A marked crosswalk has white lines, words, or images such as the outline of a pedestrian painted on the surface of the roadway/crosswalk. Marked crosswalks often have signage at the side of the road to warn drivers of the presence of a crosswalk and to let walkers know where they can safely cross the road. Sometimes a marked crosswalk will have flashing lights attached to the signage, usually at busy intersections or where there have been pedestrian accidents.
An unmarked crosswalk does not have lines, words, or images painted on the roadway. An unmarked crosswalk does not have signage or flashing lights.
(See our blog Florida Crosswalk Laws All Pedestrians and Drivers Should Know for more information about crosswalk laws.)
How Can You Recognize an Unmarked Crosswalk?
Since there are no painted lines, signs, or flashing lights at an unmarked crosswalk, they can be hard to spot. Although a marked crosswalk can exist at either an intersection or some other location, an unmarked crosswalk can only exist at an intersection. It does not, however, have to be a four-way intersection.
Under the Florida statutes definition of a crosswalk, there must be sidewalks on both sides of the roadway at the intersection where the pedestrian stepped into the street. The crosswalk is the area of the road that lines up with the sidewalks, measured from curb to curb. If there are no curbs, the space is from one edge of the road to the edge on the opposite side of the street.
How Can You Avoid an Accident in an Unmarked Crosswalk?
The best way to avoid accidents at unmarked crosswalks is to stay focused and pay attention to what is happening on the road. A distracted driver might not see a pedestrian in a crosswalk until it is too late to stop. A distracted walker might step right out into traffic without looking. Distraction can happen when we give our attention to cell phones or in-vehicle electronic gadgets and navigation systems, or when we talk with our passengers or fellow pedestrians.
For help with your pedestrian accident injury claim, call the Montero Law Center at 954-767-6500 or fill out our contact form. We will not charge to talk with you about your case.