Drivers Aren’t The Only People At Risk On Florida Roads
One of the big concerns for people driving down the streets and highways of Florida is the risk of getting into a traffic accident. With so many cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles on the streets, it’s no surprise that accidents do occasionally happen.
However, the risk of getting into a traffic accident isn’t just reserved for people behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, people on bicycles and even pedestrians just walking, jogging, or running are also vulnerable to accidents. However, when pedestrians and cyclists get involved in accidents with cars, the outcomes tend to be more serious.
More People, More Risk
The rate of pedestrian and cyclist accidents in Florida has been rising in recent years, but one reason for that is a natural one. There are simply more people living in Florida now, which means more people on bicycles, more pedestrians on streets, and, of course, more drivers on the road. Florida’s population has gone from 10.1 million in 1980 to over 21 million this year.
On top of that, however, there is an added factor that not every other state shares; a major tourist industry. In addition to 21 million residents, Florida also receives over 80 million visitors annually. That not only raises the sheer number of people driving, biking, and walking, it also adds more risk due to ignorance. Tourists are unfamiliar with Florida roads. In some cases, they may not be familiar with basic American driving conventions, such as driving on the right side of the road instead of the left. This just adds to the risk of an error in ignorance resulting in an accident.
A Problem Of Physics
The other major issue is that despite a risk in increasing accidents, there is no similar rise in protection. A seatbelt protects a driver who gets into a collision, and likely an airbag, as well as the structural frame of the car itself and additional possible reinforcements, such as roll bars or roll cages, depending on the vehicle.
A cyclist has, at best, a helmet and perhaps some pads for limbs, while a pedestrian has no protection at all except for whatever clothes they wear, which, on a hot Florida day, may not be much at all. This means that when a cyclist or pedestrian is impacted by a vehicle, the accident victim will experience far more injury with a greater likelihood of death than someone inside the car.
Negligence Is Commonplace
An easily preventable accident, especially if the reason is negligence on the part of someone else, is against the law. And while that doesn’t mean that the person who caused the accident will be criminally charged, it’s still a breach of civil law and can be punished in court. The only difference is, instead of being found guilty and sent to jail, the person responsible is found at fault and must compensate accident victims.
If a negligent driver injured you or someone you know in a biking or pedestrian accident, get help. Talk to a bicycle or pedestrian accident attorney about getting the compensation you’re owed.