I recently surprised my wife with a new Fitbit. She has been asking for one for several months, so I succumbed to the pressure and made the purchase. When I received it in the mail, all I could think about is how our society has begun to place an emphasis on ‘personal movement’. I really didn’t understand why so many people were crazy about these devices until I began to read about their function. Like so many other products, the device provides self-awareness regarding your ‘personal movement’ and exercise. It helps track how active you are or how many steps you are taking. Being the personal injury attorney, I began to wonder if accidents involving pedestrians have increased over the past several years. Our society is beginning to make a transition into an era of mass transit, low-cost transportation, walking, biking and any other modes of ‘personal movement’ that involve minimal fuel/energy. In short, more people are on our streets not protected by the enclosures of cars.
Based on a study performed by Smart Growth America (“SGA”), Dangerous By Design (2014), approximately 5,189 people were killed while walking in Florida between 2003 and 2012. This represented 17.7% of the total traffic-related fatalities in Florida. SGA informs us that Florida’s Pedestrian Danger Index is the highest among its sister states. More than half of the fatalities occurred on arterial roads. These roads are eligible for federal construction funding.
So, if we are encouraging everyone to walk more, what are we doing with our road designs to ensure that the general public is offered more protections? Separation is key, whether it is through raised crossings, overpasses, underpasses, or raised medians. Consideration should also be placed into lowering speed limits, speed bumps, lighting, and line of sight obstructions.
We must begin to protect those of us that choose to navigate roads by foot. The increase in pedestrian (walkers, bicycles, or other modes of individual transportation) traffic over the next 10 years could be staggering. Therefore, emphasis should be placed on protecting these people.
If you have been involved in an accident and you need legal assistance, please contact the law firm of Brannon & Brannon. A personal injury attorney is ready to help you answer those questions regarding medical bills, insurance coverage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
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