The United States is experiencing a 25-year high for pedestrian deaths across the nation, and Florida is a big part of that. As of the most recently available statistics, the state has the second-highest rate of pedestrian deaths per capita out of every state plus the District of Columbia. That share of deaths continues to grow — the current numbers are 40 percent greater than what they were just a decade ago.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), pedestrians are actually to blame more frequently than one might expect, at fault in about 60 percent of accident cases. In most cases, pedestrians are in the roadway, but not in a crosswalk, when the accidents occur.
However, simply not being in a crosswalk is not enough to make a pedestrian liable for an accident. Drivers are still expected to pay attention to their surroundings and notice and reasonably react to pedestrians in the road if they have the time to do so. Critics of the NHTSA’s 60 percent statistic say that such numbers “are based on the assumption that roadways are for cars, and that pedestrians are visitors.”
Safety issues affecting today’s pedestrians
A significant issue that many believe has led to increased pedestrian deaths in recent years has been the rise of distracted driving. With the proliferation of smartphones, people are often unable to resist the urge to text or browse the web while behind the wheel, making them extremely dangerous to anyone who shares the road with them. A pedestrian is not as easy to spot as another vehicle while half of one’s attention is focused on a mobile device.
In many cases, drunk driving figures are actually down, which means distracted driving could very well be to blame for the inflated pedestrian accident numbers.
To explore your legal options after a pedestrian accident in Florida, contact a trusted Bradenton personal injury attorney with Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh.