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Sarasota Injury Lawyer On Rising Pedestrian Accidents In Florida

As you walk the streets downtown Sarasota, take a moment to think about pedestrian safety. Though the palm trees sway in the shadows of new the luxury condos going up like mushrooms, pedestrian accidents remain a stark reality. In fact, in 2021 alone there were at least 160 crashes involving pedestrians, in Sarasota County resulting in 18 people loosing their lives. and many were not even in areas associated with foot traffic like downtown, but took place on more dangerous roads like University Parkway or Tamiami Trail. Familiarizing yourself with the laws protecting pedestrians and take simple precautions, like using crosswalks and avoiding distractions is a good idea. Whether your a motorist on Sarasota’s roads or are opting to walk, embrace safety on Sarasota’s streets, whether meandering Beach Drive or hustling to work downtown. Together, we can make a difference and ensure all who walk Sarasota’s roads feel secure.

Pedestrian Accidents Are on the Rise in Sarasota

Distracted Driving and Speeding: A Deadly Combination

In 2021, over 60% of pedestrian fatalities in Sarasota County involved a driver who was speeding or distracted, according to data from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). Excessive speed reduces reaction times and impacts the severity of accidents. Meanwhile, distracted driving diverts a driver’s attention from the road, making it difficult to see and react to pedestrians.

High-Risk Intersections and Roads For Pedestrians In Sarasota And Manatee Counties

Some of the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in Sarasota include Fruitville Road and Beneva Road, 41st Street and 14th Street, and 41st Street and Lockwood Ridge Road. These intersections see high traffic volumes, and their wide, multi-lane designs can make crossing difficult for pedestrians. Similarly, high-speed, multi-lane roads like Fruitville Road, Clark Road, and Bee Ridge Road lack adequate crosswalks and pedestrian signals. Other areas of concern include U.S. 41 and 53rd Avenue West in Bradenton, University Parkway and I-75, Jacaranda Boulevard and East Venice Avenue in Venice, U.S. 41 and Fruitville Road in Sarasota, and the Cortez Road Bridge in Cortez. These areas are known for high traffic, sudden stopping, and driver confusion, making them high-risk for car wrecks​.

Seasonal Influx and Nighttime Accidents

Pedestrian accidents tend to increase during Sarasota’s peak tourism season from January through April. The seasonal influx of visitors leads to more traffic and activity on roadways. Accidents also tend to occur more frequently at night, especially between 6 PM and midnight, due to poor lighting, vision difficulties, and impaired driving or walking.

Urgent Need for Infrastructure and Education

While areas around downtown or Lakewood Ranch are well light and marked, many other high traffic areas, like US 301 or in Vamo area need improvement. To curb increasing accidents, Sarasota requires improved infrastructure like well-lit crosswalks, pedestrian signals, and roadway modifications. Educational campaigns promoting safe driving and walking practices are also essential. By enhancing safety through design and promoting awareness, Sarasota can work to reduce tragic accidents and save lives. Collective action and a shared sense of responsibility for pedestrian safety are urgently needed to reverse this troubling trend.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents at Dangerous Intersections

Left-hand Turns

Left-hand turns across oncoming traffic are a frequent cause of pedestrian accidents at intersections. Drivers making a left turn must navigate oncoming traffic, watch for pedestrians in crosswalks, and turn quickly before oncoming traffic proceeds through the intersection. This divided attention and rushed maneuvering significantly increases the risk of striking a pedestrian.

Distracted Driving

Using a cell phone, eating or drinking, or interacting with vehicle entertainment systems are common driving distractions that endanger pedestrians. Distracted drivers are less likely to see pedestrians entering crosswalks or notice traffic signals changing, putting pedestrians in danger. In 2018, distracted driving contributed to over 58% of pedestrian accidents in Sarasota.

Unmarked Crosswalks

Unmarked crosswalks, or crosswalks lacking traffic signals, warning signs, or pavement markings pose risks to pedestrians. Although pedestrians have the right-of-way in crosswalks, drivers often do not expect or see pedestrians crossing at unmarked locations. Over 30% of pedestrian accidents in Sarasota occur in unmarked crosswalks, especially at night.

Road Design Flaws

Some intersections are designed in a way that makes pedestrian accidents more likely. Intersections with poor visibility, multiple turn lanes, short traffic light times, or inadequate pedestrian crossing times endanger pedestrians. Redesigning dangerous intersections to improve visibility, minimize turn lanes, extend crossing times, and install pedestrian signals or overpasses can help reduce accidents.

By understanding the common causes of pedestrian accidents at intersections, pedestrians and drivers can take extra precautions to prevent tragic accidents. Following all traffic laws, avoiding distractions, and taking additional care at dangerous intersections are important steps towards improving pedestrian safety in Sarasota.

Pedestrian Safety Tips When Crossing Fruitville Road and Main Street

Be Vigilant and Alert

As a pedestrian in Sarasota, it is crucial to remain vigilant and alert when crossing major roads like Fruitville Road and Main Street. According to statistics from the Sarasota Police Department, over 50% of pedestrian accidents in the city occur at intersections, often due to distracted walking or jaywalking. When crossing these busy streets, avoid looking at mobile devices or conversing on the phone. Remain focused on your surroundings and watch for turning vehicles.

Obey Traffic Signals and Use Crosswalks

Cross Fruitville Road and Main Street only at designated crosswalks and obey all traffic signals. Although it may seem convenient, jaywalking is illegal and extremely dangerous with high-speed traffic. Wait for the pedestrian “WALK” signal before entering a crosswalk, and do not start crossing if there are only a few seconds left. Remain in the crosswalk until you have fully crossed to the other side.

Increase Your Visibility

Take measures to make yourself more visible to drivers, especially at night. Wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight when walking after dark. Do not assume drivers see you, even if you are in a crosswalk. An estimated 65% of pedestrian fatalities in Sarasota occur at night, highlighting the importance of visibility.

By exercising caution, obeying the law, and taking proactive steps to improve your visibility, you can safely navigate Fruitville Road, Main Street, and other high-traffic areas of Sarasota as a pedestrian. However, no amount of vigilance can overcome reckless driving, so remain alert in case drivers do not yield. If you are involved in an accident, contact Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh for advice and legal counsel. Pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility, and with awareness and cooperation, Sarasota’s roads can become safer for people traveling on foot.

What to Do After Being Hit by a Car as a Pedestrian

If you are ever hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian in Sarasota, there are several steps you should take immediately after the accident.

Call For Emergency Assistance

Call 911 as soon as possible and report that you have been struck by a vehicle. Emergency responders will dispatch police and emergency medical services to properly assess your injuries and get you the medical attention you need. Even if your injuries do not appear life-threatening, it is critical to receive a full medical evaluation, as some injuries may not manifest symptoms right away.

Document the Accident Details

Try to gather as much information about the accident as possible, including the vehicle details, driver information, witness contact information, photos of the scene, and a written account of what occurred. Write down the vehicle’s make, model, color, and license plate number. Get the driver’s name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, insurance details, and license plate number. Record witness names and contact information. Take photos of the vehicle, surrounding area, street signs, and any visible injuries. Document everything in detail while the events are fresh in your memory.

Do Not Discuss Fault With the Other Parties

Do not discuss who is at fault with the vehicle driver, passengers, or with the driver’s insurance company representatives. Anything you say to them could potentially be used against you to deny or limit a future claim. Let your accident attorney handle the discussions regarding fault and liability once you have sought proper legal counsel.

Get Legal Representation

Contact a Sarasota pedestrian accident attorney as soon as you are able for guidance on next steps to protect your legal rights. An attorney can advise you on how to proceed with insurance claims and help determine who is responsible for your injuries and damages. They can handle communications with insurance companies and work to pursue fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses resulting from the accident.

Prioritize Your Recovery

Focus on following your doctor’s recommendations to recover from your injuries. Your health and safety should be top priorities during this difficult time. Let your attorney and legal team handle the legal aspects, so you can concentrate fully on your physical and emotional healing.

Pedestrian Accident Lawyer FAQs: How an Attorney Can Help if You’re Injured

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, contacting a specialized personal injury lawyer is imperative to protecting your rights. How can an attorney help in these situations?

Firstly, an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the accident. They will gather police reports, witness statements, footage from traffic cameras, and other evidence to establish liability. Using this evidence, your lawyer can prove that the at-fault party, whether it be a driver, vehicle owner, or other entity, is responsible due to negligence or wrongdoing.

Secondly, your attorney will represent your interests in negotiations with insurance companies. Insurance providers often offer low settlement amounts in the hopes claimants will accept less than fair compensation. However, with legal counsel, you can secure a settlement that covers all economic and non-economic damages resulting from your injuries. Studies show that, on average, claimants represented by attorneys recover over three times more in compensation than those without representation.

Finally, if a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, your lawyer will file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. They will argue your case in court to hold the at-fault parties accountable and maximize the compensation you receive. While litigation can be a lengthy process, it helps ensure you are fully compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses due to your pedestrian accident injuries.

Contacting a specialized pedestrian accident lawyer in Sarasota is the best way to safeguard your legal rights after an accident. With experienced legal representation, you have the best chance of recovering damages that will assist you in moving forward after suffering injuries due to another party’s negligence or wrongdoing. No one should have to bear the burden of costs from an accident that was not their fault.

Contact the law firm of Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh for Sarasota, Florida

Educate the Public

As personal injury attorneys advocating for pedestrian safety, the law firm of Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh has a responsibility to educate the public. Through social media campaigns, public service announcements, and partnerships with local organizations, the firm should spread awareness about pedestrian rights and responsibilities in Sarasota. Educational efforts should target both drivers and pedestrians, emphasizing safe practices like using crosswalks, obeying traffic signals, eliminating distractions, and sharing the road.

Improve Infrastructure

The law firm of Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh works with local government officials and transportation departments to make infrastructure changes that benefit pedestrians in the Sarasota area. Improvements like additional street lighting, clearly marked crosswalks, pedestrian crossing signals, and reduced speed limits have been shown to decrease accidents in other cities. We also identify and advocate for specific improvements at dangerous intersections like Tamiami Trail and Gulf Gate Drive, where multiple pedestrian fatalities have occurred.

Support Law Enforcement

Law enforcement plays an integral role in shaping driver and pedestrian behavior through enforcement of laws and regulations. Our law firm expresses their support for initiatives like jaywalking stings, distracted driving checkpoints, and DUI patrols which aim to curb behaviors that endanger pedestrians. By enforcing laws already on the books, law enforcement can positively impact pedestrian safety at a grassroots level. The law firm of Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh publicly supports of these efforts will raise awareness of their importance in the community.

Offer Legal Counsel

For pedestrians who have been injured or families who have lost loved ones in accidents, the firm offers free initial legal consultations. Their experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases allows them to advise clients on appropriate steps to take, even if a case does not proceed to litigation. By counseling clients during a traumatic experience, the firm establishes themselves as advocates and builds goodwill, which may lead to future referrals and relationships.

As drivers, we have a responsibility to be alert and cautious, especially in areas with heavy foot traffic. By slowing down, avoiding distractions, and yielding to pedestrians, we can prevent needless injuries and even save lives. The simple acts of giving pedestrians the right of way and exercising extra care near crosswalks and bus stops go a long way. We all share the roads and sidewalks. Making safety a priority benefits everyone in our community. When we look out for each other and follow traffic laws, we can reduce accidents in Sarasota. Doing your part to prioritize pedestrian safety helps create a city that’s enjoyable for residents and visitors alike.

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

Sarasota Injury Lawyer On Rising Pedestrian Accidents In Florida

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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