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Florida Pedestrian Safety a Summer Concern

In 2010, Florida Traffic Crash Statistics revealed that 2.65 pedestrians were killed in car wrecks for every 100,000 residents in the state of Florida. In total, 7,290 pedestrians were injured over the course of the year and another 499 pedestrians were killed. The number of deaths reflects an increase in the rate of fatalities for the first time since the fatality rate began to decline in 2005. The number of pedestrians injured but not killed, however, has continued to go down since reaching a high in 2008.

Our Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys know that despite the decline in pedestrian injuries, Florida remains one of the most dangerous of all states when it comes to pedestrian accidents. There are lots of reasons for this including warm weather making it possible to walk all year round; badly designed roads; and a large senior citizen and tourist population who may not have the best driving skills in all situations.

Florida Pedestrian Safety Tips and Warnings
The thousands of pedestrians injured and killed each year suffer tremendous loss and leave behind loved ones forced to cope with sadness and grief. These injuries and deaths can and should be prevented in order to minimize the financial and emotional costs associated with pedestrian accidents.

Both drivers and pedestrians have certain responsibilities in preventing pedestrian accidents since these types of crashes can often be attributed to the negligent or careless behavior of one or both of these individuals. Drivers can include drivers of motor vehicles, motorcycles and trucks, but can also include bicycle riders who could kill or injure a pedestrian if they were going too fast and struck the walker. In one recent case in California, for example, a bicycle rider was charged with manslaughter because he was speeding and killed a 71-year-old man when his bike crashed into him.

For drivers of cars or bikes to avoid becoming involved in a pedestrian crash, it is important to:

  • Drive at a reasonable speed so the car or bicycle doesn’t lose control and hit a pedestrian.
  • Watch for pedestrians at all times and give pedestrians the right-of-way when required by law.
  • Refrain from behaviors that would make you more likely to hit and injure a pedestrian. Such behaviors can include drunk driving, distracted driving, drowsy driving or even daydreaming when driving. Anything taking your attention away from driving is taking your attention away from a potential future pedestrian who may be unlucky enough to be in your path.

For pedestrians, on the other hand, the focus should be on:

  • Crossing at designated crosswalks and facilities whenever possible. Avoid jaywalking, which can significantly increase the risk of an injury since drivers may not expect you to step out in the middle of the street to cross.
  • Look both ways before crossing the road. Never assume that a driver is going to stop and don’t step out onto the street when a driver is coming.
  • Making sure you don’t have too much to drink. You don’t want to try to walk somewhere drunk or intoxicated as you could end up in a dangerous situation.
  • These are just a few of the things that drivers and pedestrians can do in order to avoid a devastating wreck that could cost the pedestrian his life.

    Call Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.

    Additional Resources:
    South Florida Riptides Can Claim Lives on Spring Break, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, April 4, 2013.

    Broward Authorities Investigate Deadly Port Accident, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, April 10, 2013

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