The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is joining forces with local law enforcement this October to bring attention to National Pedestrian Safety Month.
Our pedestrian injury lawyers have written extensively about the epidemic of serious and fatal pedestrian collisions throughout Florida. South Florida, in particular, has been repeatedly cited as the most dangerous location in the nation for walkers, with Cape Coral, Orlando, and Miami all making the list of 5 most dangerous metro areas in the country for pedestrians.
“Last year, we lost more than 700 Floridians – our friends, family members, neighbors, and coworkers – in senseless and preventable pedestrian-involved crashes,” said FLHSMV Executive Director, Terry L. Rhodes. “Pedestrian safety is not a one-way street – it’s the responsibility of all road users, and it’s crucial that motorists and pedestrians alike stay alert and look out for one another’s safety.
Last year, more than 8,000 pedestrian collisions in Florida claimed 712 lives, accounting for 1 in every 5 traffic fatalities. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association reports Florida pedestrian deaths declined by 2 percent last year, the first decline in more than a decade. However, the state still ranked deadliest in the nation behind California, which was the only state to report more than 1,000 walking deaths.
Pedestrian Safety – Behind the Wheel, On the Sidewalk
It’s an important message because most of us are pedestrians, too.
“At some point in the day, we are all pedestrians – making our focus on pedestrian safety important and a shared responsibility for all. FDOT is committed to protecting users of Florida’s transportation system with improvement projects that enhance safety and reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths,” said FDOT Secretary Kevin J. Thibault. “We ask everyone to stay alert and cautious to ensure pedestrians can travel and arrive at their destinations safely.”
Tips for Walkers:
- Use sidewalks and walk facing traffic.
- Do not wear headphones, use cellphones or engage in other distraction while walking. An increasing number of walkers are injured while distracted by electronic devices.
- Use sidewalks and intersections.
- Plan your route to take advantage of street lights, crosswalks and other safety infrastructure.
- Avoid walking after dark whenever possible. Three quarters of fatal pedestrian accidents occur after dark.
- Wear light colored clothing and carry a flashlight or other reflective material if walking after dark.
Tips for drivers:
- Keep a lookout for pedestrians; give them the right of way wherever you find them.
- Always yield to pedestrians and cyclists at crosswalks.
- Be particularly cautious in neighborhoods. Don’t cut through neighborhoods and always obey the speed limit.
- Pay attention when backing up.
Pedestrian Accident Injury Claims
Pedestrian injury claims can be among the most complex an experienced personal injury or wrongful death law firm can handle for a multitude of reasons:
- There is no such thing as a minor accident. Most pedestrians struck by a car, even at low speeds, are seriously injured.
- A high percentage of these collisions are caused by hit-and-run drivers who flee the scene.
- Many drivers lack adequate insurance to compensate a victim for resulting injuries and damages.
Proper representation of pedestrians requires thorough review of all causes of a collision, as well as identifying all responsible parties and their insurance carriers. In many cases, a victim’s own insurance policy may be among the best options for recovery in cases where a victim carries optional ininsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Your law firm must also have extensive experience in determining the full extent of your injuries, including likelihood of medical complications or long-term disability.
At Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, we have focused exclusively on representation of injury victims in Southwest Florida for more than half a century.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.