Pedestrian accidents can be devastating. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 70,000 pedestrians are injured in accidents every year in The United States. Pedestrians have the right of way when crossing in a designated area and in all circumstances, drivers owe a duty of care to avoid causing pedestrians unnecessary harm.
In this blog, we’ll explain the most common causes of pedestrian accidents in Florida, in hopes of preventing future tragedies.
Distracted Drivers and Pedestrians
Distracted driving is extremely common and occurs when the driver takes his/her focus off of the road. This includes: talking on a cellphone, texting, adjusting the radio, or looking at a map or navigation system. In addition to distracted drivers, distracted pedestrians could also be the cause of an accident. When a pedestrian is focusing on something else, he or she is likely not paying proper attention to the surrounding traffic.
Failure To Follow Traffic Laws
Speeding, disobeying stop, yield, or merge signs, failing to slow down in school zones, and making illegal u-turns all contribute to pedestrian accident risks. Following traffic laws is paramount to reducing these risks.
Driving while under the influence (including impairment caused by prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, marijuana and other illegal drugs) is extremely dangerous. Impaired driving caused over 15,000 crashes in Florida in 2021. Drivers operating a vehicle under the influence are less likely to see a pedestrian or be able to respond in an appropriate amount of time if a pedestrian is in the roadway.
Heavy rain, fog, darkness, and smoke all affect visibility for drivers. When driving with poor visibility, make sure to turn on your headlights and slow down enough to maintain a safe stopping distance.
Left-hand turns represent around 25% of all pedestrian accidents in the United States. In a study done by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Association, people who were hit by cars making left turns were three times more likely to die than those struck by cars making right turns.
When making a left-hand turn, drivers are turning against the flow of oncoming traffic, making them focus their attention on whether other cars are coming. This, in turn, usually makes the driver forget to look for pedestrians.
Whether driving or walking, it is important to always pay attention to your surroundings. Follow these quick tips to make sure you’re preventing future accidents.
- Follow traffic laws
- Drive defensively
- Only get behind the wheel when sober
- Stay attentive
- Wear bright clothing
- Walk on the sidewalk, when possible
- Stay attentive
- Use crosswalks
If you become involved in a pedestrian accident, it is important to seek counsel and representation from an experienced attorney. The attorneys and professionals at Cohen & Newmark PLLC will speak to you about the possible outcomes of your case and advise you of the next steps.
Reach out to us online or call us at 1-800-CALL-LEE.