Florida is ranked one of the deadliest states in the country for pedestrian accidents. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties comprise a metro area that is among the nation’s deadliest. And it’s not getting better either.
According to CNN, the number of pedestrian fatalities is up across the nation in past year, especially at non-intersections. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were more than 4,000 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in 2010 — up nearly 5 percent from the year before. An additional 70,000 people were injured in these kinds of accidents. Many of these accidents, injuries and fatalities could have been prevented if drivers were more cautious and aware of their surroundings!
Our West Palm Beach pedestrian accident lawyers understand a pedestrian was injured every 8 minutes and another one was killed every 2 hours. Close to 80 percent of these accidents happened at non-intersection areas. The state of Florida is known for these kinds of accidents because of our pedestrian population. Florida provides perfect walking weather all year round. When there are more pedestrians along our streets, the risks for accidents increase.
Characteristics of Pedestrian Accidents in 2010:
-About 90 percent of accidents happened in clear weather.
-Nearly 70 percent of accidents happened at nighttime.
-About 70 percent of pedestrians killed were men.
-Florida ranked the second highest number of pedestrian accidents in 2010.
-Close to half of the fatal pedestrian accidents happened on a Friday, a Saturday or a Sunday.
-Alcohol was involved by drivers in more than 45 percent of fatal accidents.
“Most people are pedestrians at some point in their day. That’s why we’re reminding the public to take precautions and use crosswalks or intersections whenever possible,” NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.
In the state of Florida, there were nearly 500 pedestrian fatalities in 2010. We were only beat by the state of California with 599 fatalities.
Nationwide, these fatal accidents accounted for about 13 percent of all traffic fatalities. Even though the number of overall fatalities declined during the year, the number of pedestrian fatalities actually increased.
Officials are asking for both drivers and pedestrians to be aware of one another to help to make our roads safer. It’s a two-way street. Make sure that you look for other travelers before making a maneuver in traffic. That extra second it takes to look can help to save a life.
Tips for Drivers to Help Keep Pedestrians Safe:
-Florida pedestrian law dictates that pedestrians have the right-of-way at crosswalks.
-Drive cautiously through areas where pedestrians are likely to be found, like neighborhoods and school zones.
-Adjust your driving habits to accommodate the weather and the traffic conditions.
-Drive the speed limit. Increasing your speed only reduces your time to react to a road danger, or an unexpected pedestrian.
-Turn and check your blind spots before making a turn or reversing from a parking spot.