Taking a walk in Florida can be a pleasant experience. The wide blue skies and breezes from the Gulf of Mexico often entice residents and tourists to leave the car parked and walk to their destinations. Unfortunately, some walks that start out pleasant end up tragic.
A recent report from data that several safety advocacy groups collected reveals a staggering trend. Despite the billions of dollars federal and state governments spend on safety initiatives for pedestrians, the number of fatal pedestrian accidents continues to climb. Florida is among those states with the highest number of lives lost, and analysts say it will only get worse.
Money is not always the answer
As a resident of Florida, you may wonder where your tax money goes. For many states, a large chunk of that money funds programs intended to improve safety for those on foot and on bikes. This includes launching pedestrian safety ad campaigns, adding information about pedestrian awareness in driver education courses and engineering roads with the following improvements:
- Brighter lighting along roads that pedestrians frequent since nighttime fatalities have increased nearly 5% in the past year
- Roundabouts to replace intersections
- Wider sidewalks
- Narrower lanes to slow traffic
- Bike boxes that reserve a safe space for bicyclists at the front of a line of traffic
- Clearly marked pedestrian crossings
If you are planning on purchasing a new vehicle, you may be surprised to learn that car manufacturers are working on improving bumper insulation to reduce the injuries a pedestrian may suffer in an accident. Some avoidance systems promise to reduce the number of collisions altogether.
Nevertheless, even with the best efforts of lawmakers, the numbers keep climbing. Over 6,000 people died in pedestrian accidents last year. In cities across the country, the rate of pedestrian fatalities increased by 69%.
The common denominator
No matter how much money governments spend to improve roads and vehicles, the fact remains that the common factor is human error. Many safety advocates agree that as long as drivers continue to speed, allow distractions while they operate vehicles and get behind the wheel while impaired, you and other pedestrians are at risk of a fatal injury.
Injuries suffered when a motor vehicle strikes you can be catastrophic, if not life ending. If your injuries or the death of a loved one resulted from a pedestrian accident, you may wish to learn more about your options for seeking the compensation you deserve for your injuries and loss.