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Poor Visibility a Common Factor in Pedestrian or Bicycle Accidents in Margate, Port St. Lucie, Elsewhere

After reviewing the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ (FLHSMV)2010 traffic accident report that was recently released, our injury lawyers in Margate, Miramar, Sunrise and elsewhere in South Florida want to alert pedestrians and bicyclists to use more caution on Florida roadways. Pedestrians and bicyclists often have a big bull’s-eye target on their back so to speak because they are difficult to see and slow to react when a motorist is headed right at them.

We posted recently on our Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog and our South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog about two different pedestrians who were killed earlier this month. The first victim lost his life in a pedestrian accident in Miami while he was waiting at a bus stop. The other victim was killed early on a Sunday morning by a hit-and-run driver. It turned out there were few details to go on to catch the driver.

These senseless acts along with many others are why the FLHSMV crash statistics are so disturbing. There were 499 pedestrian deaths in 2010 compared to 482 in 2009, an increase of almost 4 percent from year to year. Sadly, 10 deaths were children under 5 and another 15 for children between the ages of 5 to 14. The age group most at risk of a fatal pedestrian accident in 2009 and 2010 was for 45 to 54 year olds. There were 97 pedestrian deaths in this age group in 2010, 76 percent of which were males. Almost 7,300 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes in 2010, which was less than 2009. Again, 45 to 54 year olds were most at risk of injury.

According to the 2010 FLHSMV crash report, there were 76 bicyclists killed, 4,600 injured and more than 4,900 bicycle crashes. Though fatalities were reportedly down 24 percent from the previous year, both the number of cyclist injuries increased by nearly 4 percent and the number of crashes were up 3.16 percent.

The trend over the past 10 years for bicyclist fatalities has remained fairly consistent, with the low being reported at 76 and the high at 124. Year-round warm weather and numerous tourists are probable factors related to such high number sof fatalities each year, but the fact still remains that an average of 9 deaths per month is far too many.

Pedestrians and bicyclists are at considerable risk of being hit by a vehicle when the weather or lighting conditions are subject to poor visibility. Walkers and bikers who don’t illuminate themselves with bright clothing or reflectors on bikes or backpacks are also at considerable risk of not being seen by a motorist. First Coast News reports a recent fatal bicycle accident that killed a 49-year-old male bicyclist riding in Suwannee County. The accident occurred before sunrise when the air was foggy and difficult to see more than a few feet ahead. A pickup truck collided with the bicyclist on U.S. 129 causing the rider to be thrown to the shoulder. Florida Highway patrol reports the driver of the pickup truck will not be charged due to the fact that the bicycle had no reflectors and poor visibility made it difficult to see the bicyclist.

If you go for a walk or ride a bicycle, be sure to be seen to avoid being hit by a Florida motorist.

Contact the bicycle or pedestrian accident attorneys at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC if you have been involved in a collision with a motorist in Plantation, Oakland Park, Hollywood, Miami or anywhere in South Florida. Call 1-800-561-7777 to set up a free and confidential appointment with an experienced attorney today.

Additional Resources:

Bicyclist Killed in Collision with Truck, No Charges Filed, by First Coast News staff, First Coast News.

Small Children at Risk of Severe Injury in Fort Pierce Bicycle Accidents, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, June 26, 2011.

Elderly Woman Killed from Car-Pedestrian Accident in Palm Beach County, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, September 5, 2011.

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