Pedestrian deaths are at the highest numbers nationwide in the last three decades. Florida has risen to the second highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the country. Meanwhile, fatalities in auto accidents have actually gone down.
What is causing this alarming increase in pedestrian fatalities and why in particular is Florida so high? One theory is distracted walking; more people are walking while on their cell phones and therefore not focused on the road and traffic. Another theory is that rising populations with more concentrated urban populations and higher tourism create more scenarios in which pedestrians and automobiles are having deadly encounters. This may explain why Florida and California are the top two in pedestrian deaths as they are also two of the top states for tourism. Another factor is walking under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Ironically, as drunk driving is going down due to more stringent law enforcement efforts, drunk walking is going up. Pedestrians, like drivers, need to be alert and aware of their surroundings and not distracted in order to avoid being involved in an accident. Both drivers and pedestrians need to be familiar with and obey traffic rules and respect that roads belong to cars, motorcycles, bicyclists and pedestrians and that everyone has a duty to look out for each other.
Municipalities also need to do their part by having clear and visible warning signs advising drivers to yield to pedestrians, or better yet, directing drivers to stop for pedestrians in areas with high volume pedestrian traffic. There needs to be sufficient crosswalks to deter pedestrians from crossing elsewhere and street lights directing pedestrian traffic. Of course, there needs to be enforcement of traffic rules for both cars and pedestrians.
In Florida and nationwide we need to make pedestrian safety a priority, and with a common sense approach we can reverse this disturbing course of increased pedestrian fatalities and the trend of having the highest death rates in thirty years.
If you or a loved one is involved in a pedestrian accident you should immediately consult with a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who specializes in accident cases.