Pedestrian Accidents in Florida: An Overview
There are many causes of pedestrian accidents. Sometimes an accidents can be the fault of the pedestrian and sometimes the fault of a careless driver. No matter who is at fault, the result is often serious and scary.
Pedestrians are truly in a vulnerable position when they go up against vehicles on the streets. Vehicles travel at high rates of speed, the drivers often have limited vision because of windshields, and all too often drivers of cars are distracted by other things besides the road and the pedestrians sharing the road. This combination of factors leads to sometimes deadly consequences for those simply wanting to walk from point A to point B.
Statistics on Pedestrian Accidents in Florida
In 2013 the Florida Department of Transportation put out a strategic plan for dealing with pedestrian accidents. In that study they concluded that pedestrian fatalities happen at nearly twice the national average in Florida versus the rest of the country. The Florida average of pedestrian fatalities happens at 2.6 per 100,000 people. That is an astounding number of victims, and it does not include the number of people who are simply injured while walking.
The study identified some of the common causes of accidents in Florida. Among those causes are:
Working on a car or truck in the road while hit;
Standing in a pedestrian island;
Working in the road;
Walking against traffic;
Walking with traffic;
Crossing at a place not designated in the intersection.
As you can see, these common causes of accidents can be avoided if pedestrians and drivers take care when they are on the road.
Florida Laws Regarding Pedestrians
There are laws in Florida regarding how pedestrians and drivers should act regarding each other. The main body of those laws can be found in Florida Statutes 316.130. Some of the laws you will find in that section really show how protected pedestrians are under Florida law. For example:
Pedestrians have the right of way when traffic signals are not working;
Pedestrian have the right of way in designated crosswalks and when traffic lights give them the right of way;
Pedestrians should use sidewalks when available.
These are some of the provisions of the law that guides pedestrians on how to use the roads and walkways in the state. Each provision is important because if a vehicle violates it, and a pedestrian is injured, then the driver may be held to answer for that violation.
Negligent drivers are made to answer through Florida’s civil laws. The civil laws are meant to protect pedestrians. Under Florida’s civil laws, drivers of vehicles have a duty to drive reasonably as related to pedestrians. If they fail to do that and cause an accident, they can be held liable for the damages they cause. At The Pittman Firm we represent pedestrians who are victims of accidents. If this applies to you, contact us. We can go over your case with you and provide you with your legal options.
See related blog posts: Complete Streets and the Importance of Pedestrian Safety; Panama City Eyes Construction of New Sidewalks.