why pedestrian fatalities are rising in florida and nationwide

Why Pedestrian Fatalities Are Rising in Florida and Across the Nation

Pedestrian

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) 210-9658 to set up a free consultation.

Pedestrian Accident

Street Racing to Blame for Deadly Florida Pedestrian Accident

Street Racing to Blame for Deadly Florida Pedestrian AccidentA street race turned deadly last month in Tampa after 24 year old Jessica Reisinger was killed, and her 21 month old daughter critically injured, while walking on Bayshore Blvd. Police arrested 18 year old Cameron Coyle Herrin, 20 year old Tristan Christopher Herrin and 17 year old John Alexander Barrineau for the accident.  All 3 were charged with street racing, vehicular homicide, and reckless driving resulting in serious bodily injury.

Pedestrian Accidents Are Often Deadly 

Sadly, this accident is just one of many pedestrian fatalities caused by reckless and inattentive drivers. Pedestrian deaths account for 16% of all traffic fatalities in the United States, and this number is on the rise. In fact, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 5,987 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2016, which is represents a 46% increase in fatalities since 2009 and the highest number of recorded pedestrian fatalities

in a single year since 1990. In the state of Florida, pedestrian accident fatalities accounted for 20% of total traffic fatalities in 2016.

Reasons for Pedestrian Accident Fatalities 

A Governors Highway Traffic Association report cited numerous reasons why pedestrian accidents are on the rise, with the top 3 being:

  • Smartphone Use – The report highlighted a correlation between pedestrian accident fatalities and an increase in smartphone usage. Motorists who text and drive, or who operate a handheld smartphone while driving, often don’t see pedestrians and small children in the road, which can result in devestating – and sometimes even fatal – accidents.
  • Legalized Pot –Driving under the influence of drugs is another reason pedestrian accident fatalities are on the rise, especially in states that have legalized pot. Stoned drivers and pedestrians alike often experience a delayed reaction time and may find it difficult to properly interpret road signs or the dangers around them.
  • Drunk Driving –Alcohol use has been a factor in pedestrian accident fatalities for decades.In fact, 48% of all fatal pedestrian crashes involved alcohol. Surprisingly, however, drunk pedestrians were responsible for the majority of those accidents.  33% of all fatal pedestrian crashes involved a pedestrian with a BAC of 0.08 g/dL or higher, while only 13% involved a drunk driver with a BAC of 0.08 g/dL or higher.

Pedestrian Accidents Often Cause Horrific Injuries

Pedestrians can suffer horrific injuries, even at low speed accidents, which can result in a lifetime of pain and suffering, as well as long-term disability. The most common injuries sustained include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Fractures
  • Disfigurement
  • Amputation
  • Internal organ damage
  • Burns

Injured in a Pedestrian Accident in Florida? 

If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Florida, one of the first steps you need to take is to call the personal injury lawyers of Zimmet & Zimmet. We have the resources and experience required to help you put your life back together after a pedestrian accident. Contact us today at (386) 255-6400 for a free initial consultation and review of your case.