To put it mildly, Florida has a severe pedestrian safety problem. Whenever a vehicle strikes someone, the consequences can obviously be horrible. A pedestrian can suffer a debilitating traumatic brain injury, broken bones, and even worse. Even though this is the case throughout the year, the summertime months are particularly dangerous. As you’ll soon find out, there are a number of reasons this is the case.
The Eberst Law Firm has a team of attorneys who know how tragic a pedestrian accident can be. We also know how confusing it can be for victims to determine the best way to obtain compensation for their injuries. If you or a loved one has been involved in this type of accident, and it was caused by someone else’s negligence, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’ll listen to the details of your case, and clearly spell out how we may be able to help.
Florida Pedestrian Accident Statistics
If you’ve lived in Florida for any period of time, you might already have a good idea of how difficult it can be for pedestrians in our state to stay safe. But you might not realize that our state is actually the most dangerous in the entire country when it comes to being on foot.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 745 pedestrians died in accidents in 2019, and 716 lost their lives in 2020. That number jumped to an astonishingly high 899 in 2021.
Smart Growth America published a list of the 20 most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians as of 2021. Incredibly, Florida cities make up eight of the top 11. Here’s the list:
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
- Bakersfield, CA
- Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL
- Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL
- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL
- Jackson, MS
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
- Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL
- Jacksonville, FL7
- Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL
- Albuquerque, NM
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL
- Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC
- Stockton-Lodi, CA
- Baton Rouge, LA
- Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA
- El Paso, TX
What Makes Summer More Dangerous for Pedestrians?
Pedestrian accidents can obviously happen regardless what time of the year it may be. But the summer months present even more chances for these kinds of accidents to occur. Children and senior citizens may be the most vulnerable, but anyone, regardless of age, will be at risk.
So, why do these accidents tend to happen more often during the summer? Here are just a few potential reasons.
- More people tend to be out when the weather is warm. They may be taking a pedestrian road crossing near the beach, or they might just be out for a neighborhood stroll early in the morning, or near sunset. These are the times of day when low lighting makes it harder for motorists to see pedestrians. The more people who are out, the more chances that a vehicle will strike one or more of them.
- Summertime means teenagers who are out of school. Many of them are just learning to drive, and they may be less likely to notice pedestrians crossing their path.
- Road construction projects tend to take place during the warmer months. This can result in pedestrians not being able to use sidewalks, and facing an increased risk of being struck by a vehicle as a result.
- More people take vacations during summer, and many of them drink more alcohol. An impaired driver won’t be able to react quickly to sudden changes in the road, such as a pedestrian they didn’t expect.
Common Causes of Summer Pedestrian Accidents
There are a lot of reasons why pedestrian accidents take place in Florida. These are some of the more common ones.
- Distracted driving. Anyone who drives while distracted is a huge danger to pedestrians and anyone else on or near a road. The most notorious example is driving while talking or texting, but there are others as well. These include eating or drinking while behind the wheel, reaching for something on the floorboard, changing the radio dial, or simply daydreaming.
- Speeding. When a motorist drives too fast, they don’t have time to take the appropriate action when something happens they don’t expect – like a pedestrian entering a crosswalk, or trying to cross at a stop sign or traffic light. Speeding drivers are also at a higher risk of losing control and striking someone on a sidewalk.
- Reckless driving. This is a conscious disregard for others’ safety. Examples include racing, darting between lanes without signaling, tailgating and many more. Whenever someone drives recklessly, that increases the chances they will veer off the road and hit a pedestrian. They could even hit someone walking in a parking lot, simply because they’re in too much of a hurry to care about anyone else..
Tips for Staying Safe on the Sidewalk this Summer
While motorists are typically to blame for a pedestrian accident, there are some cases where pedestrians can share some of the responsibility. If you follow these simple rules, you can reduce the chances of being hit.
- Always obey all traffic signals and signs.
- Never assume you’re visible to motorists.
- If you’re walking in the dark, or at other times of the day where there isn’t a lot of light, always wear bright colors. Wear reflective, neon clothing if possible.
- Never take a walk under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Always use a crosswalk or an intersection when you can. If neither are available, cross where there’s the brightest light, and where you can easily see any oncoming traffic.
Contact Eberst Law Firm ASAP if You’ve Been Involved in an Accident
The attorneys with The Eberst Law Firm will be here to answer any questions you may have regarding your pedestrian accident case. Schedule a free case review by using our online contact form or calling 1-888-CALL-JON.