Florida Traffic Laws – What Is the Duty of a Driver Approaching an Animal?

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Florida law establishes several duties upon drivers within the state. Among these duties is a Florida driver’s duty to yield the right-of-way in certain circumstances, one of which is when a vehicle is approaching an animal. Pursuant to Title XXIII – Motor Vehicles, Chapter 316 – State Uniform Traffic Control, Section 316.0825 – Vehicle Approaching an Animal, every Florida driver has the duty to use reasonable care when approaching or passing a person who is riding or leading an animal upon a roadway or the shoulder thereof. Also, the driver must not intentionally startle or injure the animal.
A violation of the provisions under section 316.0825, Florida Statutes, is considered a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation.
Animals, both wild and domestic, move unpredictably towards or across the path of a traveling vehicle. When an animal does cross the path of a Florida motorist, he or she should slow down and yield the right-of-way. Drivers should be especially aware and take extra precautions when traveling on rural roadways at night.

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