The Caldarone Law Group, P.A.

Pedestrian fatalities continue to be major concern in Florida

When a moving vehicle strikes a pedestrian, the results are often quite serious. A person who is walking or running is especially vulnerable against an impact from the steel frame of a car or truck. These accidents can leave a pedestrian with grave or fatal injuries, and they are a growing concern in Florida. The state currently has the highest rate of pedestrian accidents in the country.

Nine of the 20 deadliest counties for pedestrians in the United States are in Florida, which means traveling by foot comes with a specific risk if you live in the Sunshine State. Many of these counties are those where you would expect a lot of foot traffic, such as those near beaches and tourist attractions. Part of the problem may be that the design of most Florida roadways is with speed in mind, not the safety of pedestrians.

A public safety matter

Approximately 5,000 people die in pedestrian accidents across the country each year. Since 2009, the rate of these accidents has been steadily increasing, and there could be several factors behind this increase. To better understand the problem, it may help to consider the following information:

  • Pedestrian deaths are higher, but the number of people walking is not necessarily higher nor is the number of people driving.
  • Road design may be partially to blame with a preference given to longer blocks, wider roads and streets that allow cars to drive faster in high-traffic areas.
  • The elderly, minorities and people in lower-income areas are more likely to die in pedestrian accidents than people in other demographics.
  • Larger, heavier vehicles, such as trucks and sport utility vehicles, are more popular than ever. These vehicles are more likely to cause damage in an accident than a smaller vehicle.

Some people say that redesigning streets in heavy traffic areas where there are many pedestrians could help reduce the number of pedestrian accidents. It could also help to reduce speed limits in urban areas. Ultimately, however, drivers are responsible for the choices they make behind the wheel no matter what type of road they are on or the speed limit. 

The rights of injured pedestrians

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, you may have grounds to pursue legal action. If the negligence or reckless actions of a driver resulted in your physical harm and other damages, it is possible to seek recompense through a civil claim. An evaluation of your case will help you understand the legal options available to you.

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