Pedestrian Accidents in Florida: Statistics, Causes, and Prevention
The CDC reports that pedestrians are now in more danger than they have been in 40 years. The organization states that pedestrians are twice as likely to die in an accident than those in a motor vehicle. Pedestrian deaths increased by 54% between 2010 and 2020, while all other traffic fatalities only increased by 13%. Pedestrians, such as walkers, joggers, skateboarders, and rollerbladers, are more likely to be injured or die in accidents because they have no protection from being hit by a car. Pedestrian accidents are serious matters and are unfortunately increasing. Learn more about Florida pedestrian accidents and how to avoid them below.
Pedestrian Accidents in Florida: An Overview
Florida ranked second in the nation for fatal pedestrian accidents in 2022, according to a study by Smart Growth America. Of the 20 metropolitan areas surveyed, seven of the most dangerous areas were located in Florida. The Orlando/Kissimmee/Sanford Metropolitan Area ranked the eighth most dangerous metro area for pedestrians, while Deltona/Daytona Beach/Ormond Beach ranked #1. FLHSMV reported over 10,000 accidents involving pedestrians in Florida in 2022, resulting in 769 fatalities. These statistics show that Florida is a dangerous place for pedestrians. Both motorists and pedestrians should take extra care to remain safe on Florida’s roadways.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Here are some common reasons pedestrian accidents happen:
Increased cell phone usage by drivers and pedestrians is a primary cause of pedestrian accidents. While Florida bans texting and driving, many drivers don’t follow the law, which can cause serious accidents. Other types of distractions also cause accidents, such as eating, putting on makeup, attending to small children, navigating GPS, or caring for a pet. Driver fatigue is also considered a form of distraction and can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.
Speeding is one of the leading causes of all traffic accidents, pedestrians included. Drivers who speed can easily lose control of their vehicles, swerving off roadways and onto nearby sidewalks or crosswalks. There is very little time for a pedestrian to react in this situation, which causes serious accidents with significant injuries.
Failure to Follow School Zone Rules
Unfortunately, school zones and school bus stops are especially dangerous for students. Drivers must stop traffic in both directions when a school bus has its stop sign activated, but many cars fail to do this. Drivers also may refuse to follow instructions from school crossing guards.
Driving or walking while intoxicated has serious consequences. Drivers operating vehicles under the influence of drugs and alcohol have impaired judgment and cannot react to the road as they normally could. They also have blurry vision, affecting their ability to see potential hazards. Pedestrians under the influence of drugs or alcohol are also dangerous, as they aren’t aware of their surroundings and may inadvertently walk into the path of traffic.
How to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents
One of the best ways to prevent pedestrian accidents is to increase visibility, especially when walking or jogging at night. Wear reflective gear and carry a flashlight if possible. Use designated sidewalks, especially on busy roads, and only cross at sanctioned intersections with crosswalks. Even though pedestrians have the right of way when crossing Florida streets, never assume a car will stop before entering the roadway. Also, limit distractions while walking and be aware of your surroundings. Don’t wear headphones when walking on busy streets so you can hear approaching traffic around you.
What To Do If You’re Involved in a Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian accidents can cause serious injuries, so receiving medical care as soon as possible is important. Ensure you exchange information with the other driver as well as other witnesses. Collect witness statements, photograph the accident area, and document property damage. Then, you’ll want to file a claim with your insurance to help pay for your medical expenses.
After you’ve received medical attention, contact a car accident attorney like our team at Oldham & Smith. We’ll help ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries. We’ve recovered millions for our clients who have been severely injured in pedestrian accidents in Central Florida. Contact our office at (352) 744-7717 or schedule a free consultation with us online to discuss your case.