New Years is a time to make resolutions, and one of the best resolutions you can make is a promise to avoid dangerous driving behavior. Auto accidents happen every day, but there are certain behaviors that can increase your accident risk greatly. Speeding and distracted driving are two of those behaviors. Failing to pay proper attention to pedestrians and bike riders is another big issue that drivers should focus on in order to improve safety.
To help you avoid these top accident causes, our Broward injury attorneys are offering a four part New Years safe driving series. We’ve already discussed speeding and distracted driving and today we’ll be focusing on pedestrian and bicycle accidents.
Avoiding Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents is a Key Goal for 2013
Tragically, the number of pedestrian and bicycle riders injured in accidents is on the rise. According to 2011 data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- There was an 8.7 percent increase in the number of fatalities among cyclists between 2010 and 2011
- There was a 3 percent increase in the number of fatalities among pedestrians between 2010 and 2011
2010 statistics published in the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Traffic Crash Statistics report also show that a large number of pedestrians and bike riders are killed or injured each year. According to the Florida data for 2010:
- There were 7,290 pedestrians injured in crashes statewide in 2010.
- There were 499 pedestrians killed in crashes statewide in 2010
- There were 76 bicyclists killed in crashes statewide in 2010
- There were 4,600 bicycle riders injured in crashes statewide in 2010
Pedestrians and bicycle riders may be at risk for many reasons, including drivers choosing to engage in distracted driving and failing to pay proper attention. Pedestrian and bike riders can also be injured when drivers fail to yield to them or when drivers misjudge the speed that the biker or pedestrian is going.
How to Avoid Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents
Drivers, pedestrians and bike riders all share responsibility for preventing bicycle accidents. In order to avoid these accidents
- Drivers should refrain from drinking and driving, driving distracted or driving drunk.
- Drivers should yield to bikers and pedestrians who have the right of way.
- Pedestrians and bike riders should obey the “Walk” sign at intersections and should cross at dedicated walkways.
- Bike riders should use designated bike lanes whenever possible and should remember that they are subject to the rules of the road just as drivers are.
- Bike riders and pedestrians should wear reflective gear at night time.
By focusing on becoming a safer driver in 2013, you can help to solve the problem of increasing pedestrian and cyclists accidents and you can help everyone to stay safer on the roads in 2013. Avoiding the other dangerous behaviors of speeding and distracted driving discussed during our New Years safe driving series will also help you to become a better driver who may be less likely to become involved in a serious crash.
If you or your loved one has been the victim of a car accident, contact our attorneys at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp, & Gonzalez at 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
Drunk Driving Crackdowns in South Florida Continue Through New Year, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, December 15, 2012.