Along with representing accident victims, our team is committed to advocating for safety improvements in Panama City and throughout our Florida Panhandle region. We believe investments in safety ultimately save both money and lives. Given our temperate climate and the many tourists who visit our community, particularly during the Spring Break season, it is especially important that we make a commitment to protecting pedestrians.
Our Panama City pedestrian accident law firm sees too many people tragically injured in pedestrian crashes and too many families who have lost loved ones after a motor vehicle hit a person travelling by foot. We can and do help pedestrian injury victims and grieving families, but we also believe there is no substitute for prevention.
As such, we were pleased to see WJHG's report that the Florida Department of Transportation ("FDOT") is working to improve pedestrian safety throughout our region and ensure that pedestrian areas are clearly visible to drivers. Speaking specifically about Destin, Officer Ian Satter noted that there is a lot of foot traffic in the city, especially during the tourist season.
He said the department wants to create the safest pedestrian routes possible, and it is working to enhance pedestrian features along some of the city's busy roadways. Satter cited restriping crosswalks and replacing signs as examples of the FDOT's street safety efforts. Additionally, he noted that the FDOT is working on a pedestrian safety study along the U.S. 98 corridor throughout Northwest Florida.
Satter reported that the improvements within Destin's city limits are projected to cost approximately $40,000. FDOT crews are also planning to survey the Panama City Beach area to determine if additional pedestrian upgrades are necessary.
According to the Center for Disease Control, 4,820 pedestrians died and an additional 118,278 were injured in traffic crashes in the United States during 2007. This works out to a pedestrian injury every 4 minutes and a pedestrian death every 2 hours. 1 in every 5 traffic fatalities involving a child between ages 5 and 9 was a pedestrian death. Older Americans are also at risk, with people over 65 accounting for 18% of pedestrian deaths in 2008 and an estimated 10% of pedestrian injuries.
The majority of pedestrian deaths occur at night, in urban areas, and outside of intersections. Alcohol use is also a major factor, with impairment of either the driver or pedestrian reported to be a factor in 48% of fatal pedestrian accidents. 36% of pedestrians killed in these accidents had a blood alcohol concentration above the .08 legal limit for drivers. Increased speed also correlates with an increased risk of a pedestrian accident and an increase in the severity of the resulting injury.
Medical attention should be the first priority for any injured victim. However, it is also important to reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney for help as soon possible in order to protect your legal rights. Our Panama City personal injury attorney represents those who have been injured or lost a loved one due to a pedestrian accident in the Panhandle region. Call to arrange a free consultation.