The Prevalence of Pedestrian Accidents in Florida
Walking down the street should not create feelings of fear and danger. Drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a manner that not only respects other drivers, but pedestrians as well. When that duty is not met, injury and death can occur, which leaves lives in medical and financial peril. With the assistance of experienced lawyers, victims of pedestrian accidents can receive the compensation that they deserve from the responsible party.
Florida cities rank among the highest for pedestrian accidents nationally. According to a report in Governing magazine, Miami-Dade and Tampa are at the top of the list among metropolitan areas. Between 2006 and 2012, Miami experienced about 700 pedestrian deaths. During this same time period, Tampa accounted for approximately 403 pedestrian fatalities. The article asserts a variety of explanations for these disturbing numbers:
- Lack of government action to prevent accidents – In an effort to ease traffic and congestion, governments build large thruways with multiple lanes. Unfortunately, these highways are often built without consideration for pedestrians who also walk these streets. The lack of crosswalks and safety measures result in an increased number of pedestrian injuries.
- Demographics of low income communities – According to Governing magazine, pedestrian accidents are more common in lower income communities. There are a number of reasons given for these statistics.
○ Cities prefer to spend their dollars on programs that promote economic development. This means that money is directed towards commercially zoned districts, rather than areas with a high residential numbers. The lack of funding and investment leaves residents without basic pedestrian safety measures.
○ Low income residents tend to walk more frequently than citizens who reside in the higher income areas. These residents reportedly walk to work, to public transportation and to the neighborhood store. With more pedestrians on the road, the chance for accidents increases.
Reports of Pedestrian Accidents
News of pedestrian deaths within the state are far too frequent. Within the month of August, there were reports of a Pensacola teenager who was struck while trying to cross the street. The 15-year-old is reportedly in critical condition. The Park Ridge Herald reported on a 90-year-old woman who was struck and killed when a car allegedly hit her within a crosswalk. The driver was only ticketed thus far, but charges are possible once the investigation is completed. In an additional incident, an impaired driver struck and ran over an 18-year-old girl as she walked on the sidewalk in her neighborhood. The teen was dragged for several feet, resulting in serious burns to her body.
When a pedestrian is injured or killed in an automobile accident, the responsible driver may be liable. The race, age or income level of the injured party is irrelevant when determining fault and liability. With the assistance of an aggressive lawyer, you can fight for the compensation that you deserve.