Florida is the #2 state in the U.S. for pedestrian fatalities – trailing only California (which has twice the population of Florida). If you take population into account, then Florida leads the country in fatal pedestrian accidents.
So why do we have so many pedestrian accidents in the sunshine state?
- Weather: With all the beautiful weather and beaches, there is no surprise the amount of walkers, runners and bicyclists there are at all times enjoying the outdoors. There is a reason Florida is the home of 24 different marathons.
- Tourists: Tourists and their unfamiliarity with the local roads could be another reason for the high number of pedestrian accidents in Florida. It is safe to say that driving around certain cities in Florida takes a unique set of skills – similar to how some would describe driving in New York. Someone visiting the more congested cities (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Jacksonville) may not be accustomed to people not using turn signals or vehicles not yielding the right of way. This makes something as simple as crossing the street an incredibly dangerous situation.
- Bad driving habits: It is not just tourists that can be in danger. The good majority of pedestrian accidents involve locals who have fallen victim to drivers who were operating their vehicles carelessly. A driver could have been speeding, failed to yield at pedestrians on crosswalk, disobeyed traffic signals, failed to use turn signal, disregarded bad road conditions or driving while under the influence.
- No cell phone laws for drivers: The majority of states have cell phone laws of some sort, except for Florida and Montana. Florida has no handheld ban law, school bus driver law, novice driver law or text messaging bans. Even though there are schools that set rules for their bus drivers, there is no Florida state law to back it up. There are numerous campaigns urging drivers to not text, check email or anything else while driving – all because they need to keep their eyes on the road. Many drivers that do check their smartphones while driving will keep the little attention they have on the road focused on other vehicles – not pedestrians.
- It’s not just the drivers doing it: Pedestrians are also very guilty of paying more attention than they should on their smartphones and not enough attention on where they are walking. It could be people waiting at a bus stop. At a crosswalk, A pedestrian at a crosswalk may be looking at the walk/don’t walk signal, but as soon as it changes and the pedestrian starts to walk, they put their focus back on their phone and are no longer looking out for cars that may not yield or running the red light.
If you or a loved one has been hit by a car, bus, truck or other vehicle, then you need to contact a law firm that understands these types of cases and what it takes to fight for the injured. Please contact the Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorneys at MADALON LAW for a free consultation. We will gladly answer your questions and explain to you what options you may have.