Across the United States, 50,000 pedestrians have been killed from 2000 to 2009. With 5,100 of those pedestrian deaths occurring in Florida, our state has the highest pedestrian danger index in the country. While traffic fatality rates may have decreased across the nation, pedestrian fatalities in 15 of the largest metro areas have actually increased.
Pedestrian accident statistics from the Florida Department of Transportation:
• 48% of pedestrians are killed while crossing a road that is not at an intersection • 40% of all pedestrian fatalities are related to alcohol • 43% of pedestrian fatalities occur on lighted streets at night • 13% of the pedestrians killed were under the age of 10 • 22.7% of all traffic crashes include pedestrians and bicyclists
Pedestrian Accidents Happen Often in the Tri-County Area, but Whose Fault is it?
Recently, a 58-year-old man was crossing the street in Fort Lauderdale when he was hit and killed by a Dodge Ram. While the driver stopped and waited for the police to arrive, the man was pronounced dead at the scene. Another recent accident occurred on N. Miami Ave., where an elderly woman lost control of the SUV she was driving and hit a pedestrian. This pedestrian survived, but was dealing with a number of injuries.
Accidents like these happen regularly on our busy streets. One of the most common natural questions is: Whose fault is it? The law of negligence is used to determine which party was at fault. If the persons involved in the accident failed to exercise a reasonable standard of care during the incident, then they may be held fully or partially responsible for the accident and injuries that may have resulted from it.
Was the motorist following the rules of the road? Was the pedestrian crossing the road at an intersection or designated crossing area? Was the driver traveling at a safe speed? In many cases, both parties may share negligence.
Pedestrian Accidents Can Be Avoided
Many motorists naturally keep their eyes on the road when driving defensively. What is important to keep in mind is that safe driving means not just watching the other vehicles, but also people walking, riding bikes, skating, etc. The same goes for people who are not operating a vehicle. It is easy to just focus on what and/or who is on the sidewalk and maybe not look both ways when crossing the street or wait for the light. If people are aware of their surroundings and keep safety in mind, accidents involving pedestrians could be avoided.
Speak to an Accident Attorney
It is natural for a person involved in a pedestrian accident to be left with questions. They may suffer severe injuries, not know what to do about hospital bills and/or time lost from work. Many will hesitate calling an attorney because they are not sure what it entails or what they may feel they may commit to.
Speaking to an attorney does not mean you have to hire them or sue someone. Our goal is to address your concerns, answer your questions and explain the options you may have if you wish to seek compensation for your accident.