South Florida Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Should be 2013 Goal

While officials are congratulating one another for a drop in the overall number of traffic accident fatalities, Floridians need to worry about the rising numbers of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the country saw an overall 2 percent decrease in the number of traffic accident fatalities. What is hardly mentioned is that there was an increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities of about 3 percent and an increase in the number of bicyclist fatalities of more than 8.5 percent.

“Traffic crashes are largely avoidable, and so I would urge drivers to give their full attention to the road when they are behind the wheel,” said Julie L. Jones with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).

Our Fort Myers accident attorneys understand that much of the reason for the continuously record-high reportings of these kinds of accidents is because of the design of our roadways. Many of Florida’s roads are designed to accommodate fast-moving vehicular traffic, with little to no regard for pedestrian and bicycle safety. With the coming of the New Year, we’re asking motorists to share a renewed focus on the safety of all travelers.

According to Transportation for America, Florida actually holds 4 out of the top 5 spots for the deadliest places in the country for pedestrian accidents. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach ranks in as the fourth most dangerous spot in the entire country. And these numbers aren’t getting any better, especially with the latest press release from both state and federal officials.

From 2000 to 2009, there were more than 5,100 pedestrians killed while walking in the state. There were close to 2,000 pedestrians killed in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach area during this time. In terms of the fatality rates, there were 2.9 people killed in pedestrian accidents for every 100,000 residents. That’s a lot compared to the rates of other areas in the country!

“We must remain focused on addressing the safety issues that are continuing to claim more than 30,000 lives each year,” said David Strickland, NHTSA’s Administrator.

We’re asking all drivers to be on the lookout for pedestrians and bicyclists along our roadways as enter the busy tourist season. Be especially cautious when traveling through residential areas, through school zones and through intersections and crosswalks. Most of these pedestrian and bicycle accidents, injuries and fatalities are the result of driver inattention. We need to remember that these travelers have a right to our roadways. We all need to respect those rights and treat each other with the same respect. Take that extra second to look out for pedestrians and bicyclists. Your alert driving habit can help to save lives!