A lot of Americans are committing to improved health, and Floridians are no exception. Part of this commitment means walking whenever possible, rather than taking a car. That’s a lot easier to do in Florida, since our weather is so fantastic for the majority of the year. Unfortunately, that also means more Floridians are at risk of being injured in pedestrian accidents.
While most of these accidents tend to be the fault of the motorist, there are times where pedestrians do something wrong, and are hit as a result. If you’ve suffered an injury while walking, and that accident was someone else’s fault, please don’t hesitate to contact the Jones Law Group. Our attorneys have a great deal of experience representing clients in these kinds of cases, and a long track record of success helping them obtain the money they deserve.
Here’s a look at just how dangerous it is to be a pedestrian in Florida, why that’s the case, and how you and your loved ones can stay safe while taking those spectacular walks in our beautiful state.
United States vs. Florida Pedestrian Accident Statistics
When you compare Florida’s pedestrian accident numbers with the rest of the US, it’s a little scary. The National Safety Council reports that, in 2019, there were 6,205 pedestrian fatalities across the country. This accounted for nearly 20% of all traffic accident deaths. Amazingly, nearly half of those deaths occurred in only five states – Arizona, California, Georgia, Texas and, unfortunately, Florida – according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association.
Another report, this one from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, stated that more than 700 pedestrians died in Florida in 2019 alone – the most in a decade. Smart Growth America researchers rank Florida as the most dangerous state for residents – by far. They have what they call a “pedestrian danger index,” which uses several different factors to determine how risky it is to walk in the US. Florida’s rating of 201.4 puts it at No. 1. The next dangerous state, Alabama, has a rating of 174.6.
What Makes Florida so Dangerous for Pedestrians?
So, now that we’ve established just how dangerous it can be to do something as simple as taking a leisurely walk in Florida, the question that needs to be answered is, “Why?” There really is no magic, easy answer. A lot of different factors are at play. Here are just a few.
- The population is aging – not just in Florida, but across the nation as well. People are simply living longer. Many older people try to walk as much as they can to stay as healthy as possible. They often can’t get across the street as quickly as younger people, so they’re more prone to getting hit by a car – no matter how safe they try to be.
- Florida’s population is also increasing. This makes cities more crowded, and that naturally means crosswalks are more crowded as well. The more people there are, the more chances for a pedestrian accident to occur.
- Infrastructure issues can also play a role. In some areas, sidewalks are simply impassable by foot, and people have to walk in the street as a result.
- People are more distracted than ever before, mainly due to technology. Too many people are glued to their smartphones – even when they’re behind the wheel, or they’re trying to navigate a busy intersection by foot. That, of course, is a recipe for disaster.
How Can Pedestrians Stay Safe in Florida?
There are a lot of different causes of pedestrian accidents in Florida. The good news is that there are also many different steps you can take to stay safe when you’re out for a walk. The following tips apply to not only adults, but children as well.
- It sounds obvious, but you should use sidewalks and crosswalks whenever possible. If none are available, always walk facing any oncoming cars. This will make it easier for you to not only see a vehicle, but to hear it as well. It will also be easier to take any evasive action if needed.
- You’ve no doubt heard this since you were a child, but it bears repeating. Look both ways every time you cross a street. This means looking left, then looking right, then looking left again to be on the safe side.
- Even if you love your smartphone, keep it in your pocket when you’re walking anywhere near a street. That Facebook post or web page on cooking tips isn’t worth your life. Pay attention to your surroundings at all times.
What to do if You’re Involved in a Pedestrian Accident
Just like a car accident, a pedestrian accident is an incredibly frightening experience. If you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation, try to keep the following in mind.
- Get whatever medical help you need right away. Even if you think you’re okay, call 911 anyway. Sometimes, adrenalin can take over and mask symptoms of an injury. If you wait to seek medical treatment, that could endanger not only your health, but your case as well.
- If possible, contact the police immediately so they can file a report. A police report will go a long way toward providing the proof you need to show you weren’t to blame.
- Talk to any witnesses that might have seen what happened. Get their contact information so your attorney can contact them later. Also, get the insurance information of the driver who hit you.
- Finally, get in touch with a pedestrian accident attorney as soon as you can. The sooner you get legal help, the sooner your attorney can get to work helping you obtain compensation.
Why You Should Hire Jones Law Group to Represent You
The attorneys with Jones Law Group have years of helping pedestrians who suffered injuries through no fault of their own. We know how to negotiate fair settlements from insurance companies. However, if no fair offer is forthcoming, we’ll also have the evidence we need to take them to court and help you get what you deserve.