Many people enthusiastically embrace walking and cycling to cut down on their carbon emissions. While moving more has nearly limitless health benefits, it places pedestrians and cyclists at an increased risk of getting struck by passing vehicles.
Unfortunately, there are many factors that make Florida a prime location for pedestrians and cars to collide.
Pedestrians Are at High Risk of Accidents in Florida
While a pedestrian may be partly to blame in some accident cases, the overwhelming majority of accidents are the result of negligence on someone else’s part. From malfunctioning traffic signs to drunk driving, pedestrian injuries can be caused by many different kinds of negligence—and often, these life-changing crashes are entirely preventable.
Florida pedestrians and bicyclists are at particular risk of injures due to:
- Sunny conditions. Florida’s climate allows for year-round outdoor activities, effectively doubling the potential for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. With more people on the streets and sidewalks at all times of the day, there's a greater likelihood that cars and pedestrians will collide.
- High population. Florida's population is the third-largest in the nation. With over 20 million residents, Florida’s is home to more people than New York, creating overwhelming traffic congestion and the daily opportunity for people to make bad decisions—such as drinking, speeding, and texting while driving.
- Tourism. Not only do millions of people live in Florida year-round, but also roughly 100 million more visit the state every year. People flocking to the south for relief from the cold and snow are released into unfamiliar areas, many of whom rely on GPS or passengers to navigate our highways. Drivers who are distracted or unsure of traffic patterns are more likely to cause accidents, especially in areas with higher pedestrian activity.
- Road debris. Potholes, gravel from construction crews, and even litter left in the road can cause drivers to swerve at the last second. This can result in a collision with a pedestrian who had the right of way. In addition, Florida roadways are continuously under construction, causing confusion due to detours and changing highway exits. In these cases, pedestrians may seek compensation from the at-fault driver, but also from the road maintenance company, construction company, or other party responsible for poor road conditions.
- Lack of sidewalks. Pedestrians are often struck by cars while walking or jogging along the side of the road. In many cases, there are no sidewalks available for safe foot traffic, placing pedestrians at unnecessary risk. A person who is hit while walking or biking in these areas may bring a claim against the city government for failing to build walkways for pedestrian traffic.
- Busy intersections. Intersections are the most common accident site for the collision of pedestrians and drivers. Road designers don't always pay attention to the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians as they plan routes for vehicles. This results in blind corners and sharp rises that place pedestrians at unnecessary risk.
- Child accidents. Children are at particular risk of injury when struck by cars, and also one of the most likely population groups to be involved in an accident. Children are often struck by garbage trucks, school buses, and municipal vehicles traveling down neighborhood streets, and can also be hit by neighbors backing out of driveways or if they dart in front of a car while on a bicycle. These crashes can result in high medical costs, disability that can last for the rest of a lifetime, or even wrongful death.
If you or someone you love was involved in a car-pedestrian accident, it's always a good idea to seek the advice of an experienced injury attorney. Our aggressive legal team works quickly to protect your rights, helping you build a strong injury case, while keeping you up-to-date about your legal options. Simply fill out the form on this page today to make an appointment in our offices.