Preventing Florida Car Accidents Involving Pedestrians
Florida ranks highest for fatal pedestrian accidents, according to a study by Transportation for America. There are many factors that affect the rates of such accidents:
1) Traffic. High volumes of traffic increase the odds of Florida car accidents and pedestrian accidents. Quite simply, the more pedestrians are out and about and the more cars are on the roads, the more interaction there tends to be between drivers and pedestrians, which increases the risk of an accident. Florida has very busy roads and many pedestrians as well, increasing the chances of collisions.
2) Road design. According to Transportation for America, many roads with high fatality rates were designed mostly for motorist use. Many of these roads are designed with little consideration for pedestrian safety. Once the roads are constructed, adding safety features can be a challenge. For example, it can be hard to add a wider sidewalk for pedestrians in an already-congested Florida urban area.
3) Laws. Some advocates for pedestrian and bicycle safety note that motorists who cause serious Florida bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents often receive very light penalties (or none at all), even when they seriously injure or kill a pedestrian or cyclist. Some experts recommend new laws which would make laws stricter, especially for motorists who cause multiple accidents.
4) Distractions. Numerous studies have been published, showing the dangers of distracted driving. Currently, Florida has no laws preventing texting and driving. However, studies have shown that drivers who text and drive effectively take their eyes off the road for the length of entire football fields – more than enough time and space to cause a serious pedestrian accident. Less research has been done about the dangers of walking and texting. However, distracted pedestrians are also less likely to notice and anticipate dangers.
According to the Transportation for America study, four out of the top ten most deadly urban areas for pedestrians are in Florida. Between 2000 and 2009, the Orlando-Kissimmee saw the highest rate of fatal Florida pedestrian accidents, with 557 pedestrians killed. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater was in second place as a dangerous area for pedestrians and Jacksonville as well as the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach were also listed as among the most dangerous in the country.