As we recently discussed on our South Florida injury Lawyer Blog, South Florida pedestrian accidents are by far more frequent and more severe than those in other areas of the nation. Four of the five most dangerous cities for pedestrians in America are located right here in Florida.
In an attempt to reduce these types of accidents, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released a report that analyzed pedestrian accidents and provided officials with options for reducing the risks of these accidents. According to the AAA report, there were more than 4,000 pedestrian fatalities that occurred on U.S. roadways in 2009. Speed is a leading factor in determining severity of injury.
Our Boca Raton pedestrian accident attorneys believe some of the suggestions that AAA has made to help reduce the risks of serious and fatal pedestrian accidents are worthy of consideration.
First, the Foundation encourages local governments to reduce the speed limits in areas where there is a heavy population of pedestrians. If these speed limits cannot be reduced because of the high demand for quick-moving traffic, AAA recommends that officials construct some sort of physical barrier that would separate pedestrians and motor-vehicle traffic. Lastly, AAA recommends that safe-vehicle technology be enhanced and improved to detect pedestrians within range.
AAA reported that there were more than 4,000 pedestrians that died as the result of traffic-related accidents in the United States in 2009. During the same year, roughly 59,000 individuals were injured in these same types of incidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were nearly 500 pedestrian fatalities in Florida in 2009. Most of these accidents happened when an inattentive driver was speeding in an area that was populated with pedestrians.
Florida pedestrian laws according to the Florida Department of Transportation:
-When sidewalks are available, a pedestrian shall not walk along the portion of a roadway that is paved specifically for vehicular traffic.
-No one who is riding a toy, a coaster or using roller skates is allowed to travel along the roadway unless crossing the street.
-Pedestrians are prohibited from walking along freeways or interstates.
-Pedestrians are not allowed to stand on the portion of a roadway that is paved for vehicle use.
-Pedestrians are required to yield to other vehicles in areas that are considered an intersection crosswalk.
-A pedestrian is not allowed to cross between adjacent signalized intersections.
-When there are no traffic lights or signs, a driver must yield to the right-of-way to the pedestrian.
-Pedestrians are not allowed to suddenly leave a curb and walk or run into the path of an oncoming vehicle which is so close that it is considered impossible for the driver to yield.
Pedestrians are urged to stay away from fast-moving traffic in areas which have not been designed to be pedestrian friendly. The AAA foundation concluded that the risks of injury and death for pedestrians are directly correlated with the speed of vehicles. The faster the speed of a vehicle, the higher your risks are for being seriously injured.
Miami Dade was ranked as the most dangerous county in the state of Florida. From 2000 to 2009, this county witnessed nearly 800 pedestrian fatalities. Following close behind this county was Broward County, Hillsborough County, Orange County and Palm Beach County.