Florida is notorious for pedestrian accidents. It’s been named the worst state for pedestrian deaths in the nation in multiple studies. In a single recent year, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) recorded 9,736 pedestrian crashes. Of those collisions:
- 734 people died.
- 1,534 suffered incapacitating injuries, such as broken bones or other disabling injuries.
- 6,369 sustained other injuries, which are injuries that are visible to responding officers, such as bruises, abrasions, or limping.
That data does not include the thousands of possible injuries suffered by pedestrians each year. The FLHSMV classifies possible injuries as those that are not visible but may be marked by complaints of pain or brief loss of consciousness. These “invisible injuries” may be signs of potentially life-threatening trauma, such as brain injuries or internal bleeding.
Where are the Most Dangerous Areas in Florida for Pedestrians?
A study by Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition found that nine Florida regions were responsible for the most pedestrian deaths over a nine-year period. Nearly half of the Top 20 most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians were in Florida.
To make matters worse, the Top 6 cities were all in Florida, including:
- Daytona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach
- Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville
- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton
- Lakeland-Winter Haven
The Cape Coral-Fort Myers area ranked eighth in the list, with Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater coming in at No. 9. Finally, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area ranked fourteenth in the list.
Why is Florida So Dangerous for People on Foot?
There are a number of reasons why Florida is hazardous for pedestrians. First, it is a popular tourist destination. It’s no surprise that Orlando comes in first with Disney World and Universal Studios nearby. Thousands of people from all over the world make the theme park trip every year.
That’s not to mention Florida’s beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife, which attracts people of all ages for sand, sun, and surf. These vacation spots tend to also be places where motorists and pedestrians alike may be less attentive in traffic or under the influence of alcohol.
However, the Smart Growth study points out other reasons for Florida’s worrisome pedestrian accident statistics, such as:
- Poor or ineffective roadway design
- High speed limits
- Lack of safety precautions by both drivers and pedestrians
Modern technology can be an asset to keep people in Florida communities safer. Many areas are installing brighter lights that automatically flash to alert drivers when a pedestrian is crossing the road. The construction of pedestrian bridges and road projects to improve dangerous highways and intersections can also make cities safer for foot traffic.
What Can I Do to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents?
Everyone is a pedestrian at some point. You can protect yourself on foot by learning and obeying Florida’s pedestrian laws. Drivers should also familiarize themselves with rules regarding the right of way. Contrary to what many people believe, pedestrians do not always have the right of way.
Contact Brooks Law Group If You’ve Been Hurt
Were you seriously injured in a pedestrian accident? In Florida, you could be eligible to receive compensation to account for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer from Brooks Law Group can give you all the answers in a free consultation. Call or contact us today.