Florida Ranks Second Nationwide For Pedestrian Accidents
For many people who live in the West Palm Beach area, walking is a way of life. In addition to being an excellent form of exercise, it is an inexpensive means of transportation that allows you to interact with your neighbors and experience the local community in a more personal way. At the same time, safety is always a concern, particularly in light of recent statistics that indicate that Florida ranks among the highest in the nation in terms of car accidents involving pedestrians.
Florida Pedestrian Accidents
A February 2017 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ranks Florida second only to California when it comes to the number of fatal pedestrian accidents. Based on the latest statistics, the NHTSA reports that more than 600 people are killed in these accidents each year in our state, while thousands of others are seriously injured.
Pedestrians are at a distinct disadvantage, with little to protect them in crashes and collisions with motorists. Injuries can be severe and debilitating, and even a minor accident may include the following:
- Soft tissue injuries, including muscle strains, sprains, and tears;
- Dislocated joints and broken bones;
- Severe cuts and abrasions, due to broken glass or contact with metal and road surfaces;
- Internal injuries caused by being caught between objects, and damage to internal organs;
- Back and neck injuries, including fractured vertebrae, ruptured disks, and damage to the spinal cord;
- Head injuries resulting in brain trauma, including skull fractures, concussions, and traumatic brain injury.
Protecting Yourself Against Pedestrian Injuries
While people of all ages can be victims of pedestrian accidents, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that children and older adults are at an increased risk. Due to their small size, children are often harder to see, and their lack of judgement may lead them to dart between two parked cars, or to neglect looking both ways before crossing the road. Older adults often suffer from conditions that result in reduced vision and difficulty walking or moving quickly, while medications may reduce their reaction times.
The CDC reports more than a third of pedestrian accidents are due to the driver’s use of alcohol. In addition to driving under the influence, reckless driving behaviors that make pedestrian accidents more likely include speeding, going too fast for conditions, distracted driving, and disregarding traffic lights and signals. To help prevent being the victim of pedestrian injuries, the CDC recommends the following tips:
- Walk on sidewalks when available, otherwise stick to the far corner and walk in the direction of oncoming traffic;
- Use designated crosswalks when crossing intersections;
- Increase visibility by wearing brightly colored clothing or carrying a flashlight at night;
- Avoid distractions when walking, such as cell phones, texting, or wearing earbuds.
At the Wexler Law Firm, P.A., we understand the serious injuries that can result from pedestrian accidents, and the lasting impairments that can result. If you or someone you love is involved in this type of accident, call or contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys online today. Request a free consultation in our West Palm Beach office to see how we can assist you.