According to a report released by the Governors Highways Safety Association in early March, there has been a 10 percent increase in the number of pedestrian deaths throughout the country. The report, which compared data from the first six months of 2014 with data from the first six months of 2015, also found that 42 percent of all pedestrian deaths occurred in Florida, Texas, New York and California. In 2014, Florida had the second highest rate of pedestrian fatalities, with 2.96 deaths for every 100,000 people. The overall increase in fatalities is being blamed on three main factors:
- First, the recent drop in fuel prices means that people are driving more. In fact, more driving is being done on American roads now than ever before. More traffic on the roads means more opportunities for accidents.
- Second, increased use of cellphones means that both drivers and pedestrians are more likely to be distracted when they should be paying attention to the road.
- Third, unusually warm and short winters in recent years have meant that people are more likely to be outside walking around. While this change has led to increased pedestrian accidents across the country, Florida’s warm climate year-round is one of the factors that have kept the number of incidents here high over time.
There are some very easy ways to cut down on the number of pedestrian accidents. Drivers need to pay more attention to the road and allow pedestrians to cross in designated areas. Pedestrians walking at night can make walking safer by wearing bright or reflective clothing, crossing at crosswalks, and not darting out into the roadway between cars. Waling at night is always more hazardous because of decreased visibility and the probability of encountering drivers who’ve been drinking alcohol.
Because pedestrians aren’t protected by seatbelts or air bags, and because they directly experience impacts during accidents, they often suffer injuries to their spine, neck, and head, along with broken bones and road rash.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident with a vehicle, speak with an experienced Bradenton pedestrian injury attorney at the firm of Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh to learn about your options.