Some of life's most important lessons are taught early. We are taught to share, to use words instead of fists, and to look both ways before we cross, opting for a crosswalk whenever possible. There is, however, much more to communication, interpersonal relations, and pedestrian accident prevention. The role of others is a big part of this complexity, with careless drivers a major factor in the case of pedestrian accidents. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping injured pedestrians and/or their families recover money damages and to preventing future pedestrian tragedies.
WJHG and the Florida Highway Patrol ("FHP") are looking for help from the community in identifying the culprit in Friday night's hit-and-run in Escambia County. FHP officials confirmed that 59 year-old pedestrian had been crossing Mobile Highway at approximately 930 P.M. when he was run over. The unidentified vehicle hit the man while in the northbound right turn lane, dragging the Pensacola man 20 feet and then driving off, leaving him lying in the street. Officials believe the at-fault vehicle, possibly an SUV with front end damage, may have fled east on Edison Road.
The pedestrian was in stable condition at the time of the report. A trooper with the FHP suggested that this was at least the fifth pedestrian collision to occur on the same stretch of roadway.
Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA") released its Seventh Edition of Countermeasures That Work: A Highway Safety Countermeasure Guide for State Highway Safety Offices (available for download). Introducing the section on pedestrians, the agency notes that 2010 saw 4,280 pedestrians die and approximately 70,000 pedestrians suffer injury due to traffic crashes nationwide. While this only represents 3% of all traffic injuries, it accounts for a significantly higher 13% of all traffic fatalities.
Who are the victims? Nineteen percent of pedestrian fatalities involved adults age 65 and older, while 7% of pedestrian fatalities for 2010 involved children aged 15 and under (though the youths account for 23% of pedestrian injuries). Males account for 69% of pedestrian deaths. Another important statistic: A full third of the pedestrians who were fatally injured in traffic incidents had a blood alcohol level at or above 0.08, the legal limit for drivers in all states.
The real focus of the Countermeasures report is evaluating various ways to combat a range of traffic-related threats. The report evaluates a number of proposals for efficacy, cost, time to implement, and how widely the measure is used. In doing so, the report helps communities look at the results and make balanced decisions that look at efficacy but also consider how realistic the measure is given budget constraints and other factors.
Overall, the highest rated countermeasure was the use of pedestrian safety zones. This safety concept involves targeting resources to problem areas and using programs like education, engineering measures, and enforcement in small geographic areas. Other countermeasures judged effective include: Elementary-age pedestrian education; Reducing and enforcing speed limits; Making pedestrians more conspicuous; and Targeting enforcement of existing traffic laws.
We support investments in accident prevention, especially those plans that are based in reality. We also support protecting those who have been wrongfully injured, including pedestrians hurt by negligent, reckless, or truly malicious drivers, such as the person who apparently sped away after hitting the pedestrian in our area last week. Ultimately, we believe that representation is also a form of prevention that deters both the defendant and others from engaging in behavior that will leave them the target off civil litigation.
If you were wrongfully injured as a pedestrian in the Florida Panhandle area or lost a loved one in a pedestrian fatality, call our firm. We can help you get needed monetary compensation and also help prevent future accidents.
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