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Early dark increases risk of pedestrian accidents in South Florida, including Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale

The risk of pedestrian accidents in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and throughout South Florida will increase as daylight savings time ends, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Florida is among the most dangerous states in the nation when it comes to pedestrian accidents and our Port St. Lucie injury lawyers urge you to use extra caution as it grows darker earlier and the traffic grows heavier with the upcoming holidays and tourist season. Florida pedestrian accidents claimed 490 lives in 2008. Only California reported more pedestrian deaths.
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Nationwide, 4,378 pedestrians were killed and more than 69,000 were injured that year. On average, a pedestrian is killed in a traffic accident every two hours and one is injured in a traffic crash every 8 minutes.

Last year, 25 percent of pedestrian deaths happened between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., while another 13 percent happened in the hours around sunrise. With daylight savings time, comes earlier dark and the need for drivers to adjust to the low-light environment during their evening commute.

Pedestrians are also encouraged to carry a flashlight or wear reflective gear to ensure the greatest visibility.

Other safety tips include:

MOTORISTS

-Slow down. Evening requires additional time to see pedestrians.

-Keep in mind pedestrians wearing hats, earmuffs or headphones may not hear your approach.

-Keep windows and mirrors clean and windshield fluid filled. Make sure windshield wipers and defrosters are working properly.

PEDESTRIANS

-Carry a flashlight or wear reflective material.

-Don’t count on traffic signals to protect you from being struck by a vehicle.

-Avoid jaywalking or crossing streets between parked cars.

-Use sidewalks whenever possible.

-Walk facing traffic.

Freeman & Mallard is a personal injury and wrongful death law firm dedicated to helping motorists who have been injured in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and the Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce areas. Call today for a free consultation. 1-800-529-2368.

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