Recently released study gives pedestrians cause for concern
Traffic accidents are all too common in Florida, and pedestrians are especially at risk. This has been true for many years. Recently, the potential for pedestrian accidents has come to the forefront with a recent study showing that Florida is near the top for fatal pedestrian accidents. This information is important to help people understand how to remain safe. It is also vital when they are thinking about what they should do after the accident has happened and they are concerned about their financial and personal future.
Florida ranks second in pedestrian fatalities
Smart Growth America released a study assessing pedestrian risk. It found that Florida is the second-worst state in the nation for pedestrian safety. The report is entitled “Dangerous By Design.” Researchers assessed areas from 2016 to 2020 to see where pedestrians were in the highest level of danger.
It also looked at specific metropolitan areas and Florida had seven in the top 20. Overall, 2021 had the dubious distinction of the biggest rise in pedestrian fatalities throughout the U.S. from one year to the next since records have been kept with 7,265. In 2020, there were 6,529 such deaths.
St. Petersburg area was fourth and local transportation leaders strive for solutions
With St. Petersburg, Tampa and Clearwater coming in fourth in the rankings, local transportation leaders are actively seeking ideas to make the roads safer for pedestrians. Speeding is viewed as a primary problem. Intermittent crackdowns might have a short-term impact on drivers reducing their speeds, but it is generally short-lived. Once the threat of citation, fines and driver’s license ramifications are gone, drivers tend to go back to driving the same way they did before and put pedestrians in danger because of it.
For its part, Smart Growth America also references how roads are designed as a challenge that needs to be addressed to avoid pedestrian accidents. Drivers are responsible for their own actions, but the road itself could be a contributing factor to collisions. Those in charge of road design have discussed how roads can be improved, but there is a backlog. One road – 34th Street South – is set to have its sidewalks widened to better accommodate pedestrians. Other strategies include trying to accrue financing for crosswalks to be installed in the middle of blocks, widening narrow roads and adding bicycle lanes.
Despite attempts to enhance safety, pedestrians will always be at risk
Even if Florida does improve its roads, drivers get the message that they are placing pedestrians in danger through their behaviors and other tactics go into effect, the sad fact is that pedestrians will always face the possibility of suffering severe injuries and death in an auto accident. Whether it is due to negligence, distracted driving, speeding, drowsiness, drivers who are under the influence, engineering flaws, absence of fundamental safety or for any other reason, the aftermath can still cause a litany of worries for those impacted.
Pedestrians do not have any protection. When they are hit by an automobile, they can face spinal cord injuries, brain trauma, broken bones, cuts, bruises and more. If they are fortunate enough to survive, they will face major medical expenses, problems returning to work and other long-term challenges. When there is a pedestrian death, the family must think about what they will do to move on. For help sifting through the evidence, determining how it happened and considering all options, it is useful to have professional representation.