Pedestrians in Florida and all over the United States might feel as if they are under siege every time they walk out the door. More and more drivers are simply ignoring the traffic laws and driving in risky ways. This is causing pedestrian accidents with catastrophic injuries and loss of life.
Statistically, the fear is being borne out as recent research has shown that pedestrians are more vulnerable than they have been in decades. For Floridians, a recent report highlights this problem.
Florida ranks second for pedestrian fatalities
Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition recently released its “Dangerous By Design” report. In it, the riskiest locations for pedestrians were listed and Florida ranked second overall. Broward and Miami Dade were said to be near the top for counties. Smart Growth America says that the problem has reached epidemic proportions.
Between 2016 and 2020, Florida had an average of 3.22 pedestrian fatalities for every 100,000 residents. Only New Mexico was worse. Daytona Beach was at the top of the rankings for metro areas as it had 4.25 pedestrian deaths for every 100,000 residents. Miami-Fort Lauderdale was 14th. Overall, 140 pedestrians lost their lives in the years the study covered.
Pedestrians should know the dangers they may face
In the past several years, pedestrians have been at greater risk of injuries and loss of life in auto crashes. Most believe this is due to drivers failing to pay attention, driving at excessive speeds, operating their vehicles while under the influence and being reckless in general. Since the Sunshine State is commuter-based and has the benefit of warm weather, there will be a significant number of vehicles and pedestrians sharing the road. When dangerous behavior is added to the mix, it will put people in jeopardy.
Pedestrians are advised to be vigilant and visible. Using crosswalks when going across the street; making sure to be aware of surroundings; keeping track of recent accidents; and avoiding walking while distracted are all sound pieces of advice. Despite that, the unfortunate truth is that the numbers show pedestrian risk is rising and not showing signs of improvement despite campaigns, enforcement and other strategies.
Knowing the steps to take after an auto accident is key
After being injured, people who were unprotected by a vehicle of their own might suffer brain trauma, spinal cord damage, broken bones, cuts, bruises and more. Medical expenses, the need for assistance to perform basic daily tasks, the inability to work, not being able to contribute to a family and other challenges inevitably arise. In these situations, knowing the options is imperative. The driver might not even have been insured, further complicating the process.
Having assistance is key. Consulting with professionals who are experienced in assessing pedestrian accidents, are bilingual to help Spanish-speaking victims and know their way around negotiating settlements and court cases is vital. Calling for guidance is crucial and should be done as soon as possible.