Drivers and pedestrians both have a responsibility to observe traffic laws and remain attentive while on roads and sidewalks. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, which means injuries and fatalities are inevitable.
A pedestrian accident can take many shapes. A person on foot can get struck by a vehicle at an intersection or crosswalk. Or, the pedestrians can injure themselves due to lack of attention or construction on the sidewalk. These may seem like uncommon occurrences, but for some reason it’s a growing problem in the state of Florida and throughout the nation.
Last years alone, 6,227 pedestrians lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents in the United States. This is the highest number since 1990. The number of deaths has also been trending upward since 2008. Florida is by far the most problematic. In fact, nine of the 20 deadliest cities for pedestrians are located here. This rising trend isn’t a coincidence.
Reasons for the Rise in Pedestrian Deaths
As urban areas become more populated, pedestrian accidents are bound to increase. This happens as more people opt to walk and utilize public transportation. However, there are other factors involved in the rising fatality rates.
- Distracted driving – The use of smartphones while driving is a huge problem in America. It’s the leading cause of auto accidents and can also lead to pedestrians being stuck. Some states have passed laws banning the use of cell phones while driving, but in Florida, police only enforce it as a secondary offense.
- Distracted walking – Drivers aren’t the only ones guilty of using their smartphones when they’re not supposed to. Pedestrians are more likely to step into traffic if they’re looking at Facebook or answering a text while walking.
- Older drivers – Florida has the largest population of people over 65 in the country. This means more elderly drivers on the road with slower reaction times. It also means more elderly pedestrians who are vulnerable to being stuck.
- Intoxication – Alcohol use by both drivers and pedestrians is a recipe for disaster. This is especially dangerous at night when people are more likely to have consumed alcohol.
There’s a bigger chance of drunk drivers striking pedestrians walking along busy roadways. Pedestrians are also more likely to stumble into traffic.
Knowing the risk factors can help pedestrians avoid situations that put their lives in danger. However, there are a number of other precautions they can take to avoid a pedestrian injury or fatality.
How to Stay Safe on the Road
If you absolutely must walk in high-traffic areas, you should always use sidewalks and adhere to crosswalk signals. It’s also important to avoid interacting with your phone or listening to music through earbuds.
If you have to walk at night, carry a flashlight or wear reflective clothing. While crossing at an intersection, make eye contact with drivers. This ensures both of you understand who has the right of way.
Finally, never assume you’re safe. Always looks both directions while crossing a street, even if it’s your turn.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney If You’ve Been Injured
Have you been struck by a negligent driver while walking in Daytona Beach? You may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. The personal injury attorneys at Zimmet & Zimmet can evaluate the details of the accident and guide you through the complex litigation process. Contact us at (386) 255-6400 to set up a free consultation.