As residents of the Tampa Bay area, we are lucky to live in a place envied by many, with beautiful beaches and perpetual vacation weather. With so many reasons to be outdoors, it’s no wonder there are so many pedestrians on our roadways, especially during tourist season.
Being a pedestrian in Florida is more dangerous than it has been in over 25 years, according to a new Governors Highway Safety Association report. This year, Florida was ranked the 5th highest state in pedestrian deaths in the country. Gulf Boulevard is one of the most dangerous roads for pedestrians in the United States.
The number of pedestrian fatalities around the country has increased from 2007-2016, while all other traffic deaths decreased. In the first six months of 2017, 43% of all pedestrian fatalities were made up by just five states – Florida, California, Texas, New York, and Arizona.
The behavior of drivers is not within control of pedestrians, but there are a few things pedestrians can focus on to minimize safety risks.
• Pay Attention: Crosswalks do not always guarantee safety. Pedestrians should always pay attention to traffic, even if they have the right-of-way. There may be a driver who does not see a pedestrian, or is not paying attention to the road.
• Keep Your Head up: If you are looking at your phone or otherwise not observing your surroundings, you could be missing pertinent signs to alert you of danger.
• Use Crosswalks and Sidewalks: Always utilize crosswalks. If available, use the crosswalks that allow pedestrians to stop traffic.
• Always Look both ways: When crossing the street first look left, then right, then left again before entering the intersection. Be cautious and ensure all oncoming traffic is stopped or that there are no cars.
• Walk Facing Oncoming Traffic if there is no Sidewalk: It sounds counterintuitive, but if you have to walk on the shoulder, you should be facing oncoming traffic instead of going with the flow of traffic. This way you can see and hear what is coming instead of having to just rely on your ears to hear what’s behind you.
• Always be Aware of Your Surroundings
The GSHA attributed the increase of pedestrian fatalities to the increased marijuana legalization nationwide, increased use of cell phones, as well as poor city planning. With pedestrians now accounting for roughly 16 percent of all motor vehicle deaths, both drivers and pedestrians must all do their part to be cautious and aware of their surroundings.
Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you.
Whether you were a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or the occupant of car, motorcycle or boat and have been injured in an accident, you should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707