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Knowing Local Roadway Laws Helps Prevent Accidents in Florida

Jacksonville is often the first stop out-of-state visitors make as they drive south toward the ever-popular tourist destinations in Orlando, greater Miami and the Florida Keys.  But car accidents have ruined many tourists’ vacation plans. If you are visiting Florida from another state, keep a few things in mind while heading south on I-95 or along the coastline on A1A.

Important reminders for tourists

Most importantly, being on vacation doesn’t mean forgetting everything you were taught back home. A lot of people think of cool drinks on a hot beach, but drinking and driving is never smart. Here are some other important things to keep in mind if you are visiting from out of state:

  • It is illegal to text while driving in Florida.
  • Safety belts are required if you are sitting in the front seats (driver and passenger). All passengers under age 18 must wear seatbelts or a child restraint device no matter where seated in the car.
  • Florida has standards speed limits:
    • 20 mph in a school zone
    • 30 mph in municipal, business or residential areas
    • 55 mph on highways, unless otherwise posted
    • 80 mph on limited access highways and rural interstates — or as posted
    • You must stop for pedestrians at intersections, and pedestrians must follow rules of the road
    • Florida has “move over” laws, requiring motor vehicles to give room when passing accidents and to pull over if emergency vehicles or police need to pass.
    • You have to be 16 years old to drive in Florida, even if you are younger and have a valid license from another state or country

What if I’ve been in an accident in Florida?

Just as everywhere else, your first priority is get help for yourself or others who may be injured.  Florida requires that you stop at the scene. Once you’ve made sure that no one is hurt — and if anyone is, to call 911 — get the information of anyone else involved in the crash, and give yours.  Whether or not anyone is injured, contact the police to get a police report of the accident.  You should also move your vehicle if it is impeding traffic and safe to do so.

Finally, if you have been in an accident, it is important to contact an attorney who can represent you, once your vacation is over and you return home. Gillette Law, P.A. has been advocating for locals and visitors who have been injured in car accidents for more than 20 years. 

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