The Most Common Pedestrian Accidents
Maybe it’s because of the sun, and the warm year-round temperatures, but when it comes to being the top five, Florida, unfortunately, is usually at, or near, the top when it comes to pedestrian deaths. While the statistics haven’t yet been compiled for 2018, in 2017, Florida came in at #2 amongst all other states when it came to pedestrians killed by vehicles, with only California beating out the state.
But why are pedestrian accidents—especially with vehicles—so common here? What is it that makes people in Florida, especially in Miami-Dade County, so much more prone to vehicular run-ins than other states?
Because Florida is such a popular tourist state for both Americans and visitors from around the world, this means there’s a much higher population of unfamiliar drivers on the road. People paying more attention to their GPS than the road, or just people not used to driving on the right side of the road, are more prone to accidents here than residents.
Lack Of Sidewalks
It’s sad to say, but while Florida has extensive systems in place to make travel easier for drivers, the same is not always true for pedestrians. There are some portions of Florida streets where there are no sidewalks, forcing any pedestrian that’s walking to use the shoulder of a road instead. All it takes is one inattentive pedestrian or driver straying from the line for an accident to occur.
Debris & Road Obstacles
When there’s an obstruction on the road, such as a large, unfixed pothole, or a barrier to redirect drivers from construction work, or some other diversion, this forces drivers to stray from their predictable, reliable pathways on the road. With poor timing and inattentiveness, that can sometimes mean striking pedestrians that are not on the road but are in the way of a car temporarily leaving a road.
The majority of Florida’s pedestrian-related accidents have occurred at night. Many factors contribute to nighttime accidents, from tired, drowsy drivers being inattentive, to insufficient visible clothing on pedestrians crossing the street, to just a general reduction in reaction time, due to the night conditions making it harder to see pedestrians. Corners for turns are especially bad for this, as headlights only throw light directly ahead, making it harder to see objects on the sides promptly.
Intersections & Crosswalks
It should come as no surprise that one area where car accidents occur with pedestrians is the part of the road where pedestrians and cars often come into contact with each other. Crosswalks, especially at busy intersections, may be the site of accidents with pedestrians for the simple reason that sometimes drivers are in a rush. Intersections that permit left turns, for example, are a common accident area. Drivers know they have only a limited time to make their left-turn and may often do so while forgetting to check for pedestrians crossing the street at the same time because they have the right of way, and are, theoretically, under the protection of the walk signal.
If you or someone you know has been injured as a pedestrian due to the negligence of a driver, talk to a pedestrian accident lawyer, and get help.