What To Know About Pedestrian Accidents In Florida
It’s dangerous to be a pedestrian in Florida, and it’s only getting more so. Between the years 2010 and 2019, South Florida (including the Bradenton, Sarasota, Tampa, and Lakewood Ranch regions) was the 13th most dangerous area for pedestrians in the country. The top spot went to Orlando, and overall Florida was number one in pedestrian deaths in the nation.
The numbers were high between 2010 and 2019 – with around 2.8 pedestrian fatalities on average per 100,000 residents – but 2021 saw an increase of about 31% from the 2019 data.
What Causes Pedestrian Accidents In Florida?
Pedestrian accidents can be caused by any number of reasons, some of the most cited in Florida are:
• Distracted driving – With drivers becoming increasingly attached to their smartphones and in-vehicle touchscreen systems, distracted driving is a huge problem growing bigger in the United States. In Florida alone, 2021 saw more than 56,000 distracted driving accidents, some of which involved pedestrians.
• Reckless driving – Drivers should drive carefully, but just because they should doesn’t mean they always do. Reckless driving is defined as driving with a willful disregard for the safety of other people on the road, and this includes both other motorists and pedestrians.
• Drunk driving – Driving under the influence can cause motorists to miss pedestrians crossing or walking alongside the road, and in some instances an intoxicated motorists struggling to maintain control of a vehicle may even strike a pedestrian on a sidewalk.
• Failure to stop at an intersection – Missing a red light or stop sign at an intersection can lead motorists to come into contact with pedestrians. In some instances, a motorist may miss a red light while a crosswalk sign is on, causing pedestrians to have their guards down believing that it is safe to cross.
• Pedestrian negligence – Not every pedestrian-related accident in Florida is caused by a motorist. In some instances, pedestrian negligence occurs when a person to fails to look before walking into the roadway leading to an accident.
Who Is Considered A Pedestrian?
While the most common kind of pedestrian in Florida is a person walking on foot, this isn’t the only type. Pedestrians might be walking, or they could be riding a bicycle, they could be on rollerblades, they could be runners, skateboarders, or using a scooter or segway. Pedestrian is defined as any person not in or operating a motor vehicle.
How Pedestrians Can Stay Safe In Florida
While Florida might take the top spot in pedestrian fatalities in the United States, there are ways for pedestrians to stay safe and lower their own risk. When walking or riding at night, pedestrians should always wear brightly colored and preferably reflective clothing. Reflective strips on jackets, helmets, pants, and even dog leashes can help pedestrians to be better seen by motorists thereby helping to keep them noticed and safe.
Pedestrians should also pay close attention to where they’re crossing when they decide to cross the street. Crossing at crosswalks and intersections is the law in Florida, although some pedestrians may decide to take a jaywalking “shortcut” putting themselves at risk. Crossing from in between cars or outside of safe crossing zones is never recommended and taking those few extra steps to an intersection can be enough to save a life.
Pedestrian accidents in Florida are often devastating and result in fatalities or serious injury. If you or a loved one has been in a pedestrian-related accident, contact us at JusticePays.com to learn more about what your rights are.