Walking is supposed to be healthy for us, but simply taking a walk can be quite risky in some parts of Florida. The outcome can be tragic when a pedestrian is hit by a car, a bus, or a truck. And Florida is the most hazardous state in the nation for pedestrians. This is where a West Palm Beach pedestrian accident attorney help.

In fact, according to a report published in January 2019 by Smart Growth America, a D.C.-based advocacy group, eight of the nation’s top ten most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians are in Florida. The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford area tops the list.

WHAT DO THE STATISTICS TELL US ABOUT PEDESTRIANS AND SAFETY?

The following figures regarding pedestrian fatalities in the United States were released in 2018 by the Governors Highway Safety Association. From the years 2007 through 2016:

  • Pedestrian deaths rose by 27 percent.
  • Other traffic fatalities dropped by 14 percent.
  • Pedestrian deaths rose from 11 percent of all traffic deaths to 16 percent.

And in the first six months of 2017:

  • Florida and four other states accounted for 43 percent of pedestrian deaths in the U.S.
  • Florida was surpassed in the total number of pedestrian deaths only by California.
  • Florida reported 303 pedestrian fatalities.

Each year, more than 5,000 pedestrians die in the United States, and more than 64,000 pedestrians are severely injured in accidents with cars, buses, motorcycles, and trucks.

WHERE IN FLORIDA DO PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS HAPPEN?

You might think that most pedestrian accidents in Florida involve shoppers or office workers in busy and crowded urban settings like downtown Miami or West Palm Beach, but that’s not always where pedestrian accidents happen in our state.

pedestrian safety in FL

Many of the pedestrians who are injured in Florida are injured far away from urban settings. They’re beside a dark, nearly-deserted highway, trying to change a tire or start a stalled vehicle.

Many of the older two- and four-lane highways in rural Florida have no sidewalks and lack adequate lighting – or any lighting at all. Some of these injured pedestrians include law enforcement officers making a traffic stop or conducting an accident investigation.

WHY ARE PEDESTRIANS SO MUCH AT RISK?

One insurance company study suggests that approximately sixty percent of pedestrians these days are “distracted” pedestrians, and distracted pedestrians can be almost as dangerous as distracted drivers.

Take a look at pedestrians. You’ll see them texting, talking on their phones, and listening to music. Some are trying to read while walking. Distracted pedestrians today routinely walk into traffic, buildings, parking meters, and utility poles – because they’re looking at a small screen.

injured knee in FL

Pedestrians don’t as a rule wear pads or helmets, so just being a pedestrian puts you at risk. If you hurt yourself due to your own carelessness, an attorney can’t help, but if you’re injured because someone else was negligent, speak right away to an experienced accident lawyer.

HOW CAN AN ACCIDENT LAW FIRM IN SOUTH FLORIDA HELP YOU?

If you are injured as a pedestrian because a motorist was negligent, arrange at once to meet with a qualified West Palm Beach personal injury attorney.

The injured victims of negligence are entitled under Florida law to compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and all other losses and damages arising from their injuries. A good personal injury lawyer will explain your rights and explain how the law may apply in your own situation.

injured pedestrian in South florida

Most Florida personal injury lawyers offer the injured victims of negligence a first legal consultation at no charge and with no obligation, so if you have been injured as a pedestrian, it will not cost you anything to learn more about your options and rights.

Injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis, so injury victims pay no attorney’s fees until and unless a settlement or judgment is recovered. If you can’t work because you’re injured – and if the bills are piling up – you can still afford to seek justice and have your day in court.

CAN PEDESTRIANS PROTECT THEMSELVES?

Walking safely in Florida simply means avoiding the usual distractions. Don’t text or read while you’re walking. If you must speak on your phone, step away from the sidewalk and stop in a safe location to make or take the call.

After sunset, take a flashlight if you take a walk. Don’t walk where it isn’t well-lit. And don’t forget the basics, like looking both ways when crossing the street. If you’re injured while you are a pedestrian in this state:

  • Summon medical attention immediately. Then call the police.
  • When the police arrive, find out how and when you can get their written accident report.
  • Take photographs of the accident scene, the vehicle, and your visible injuries.
  • Get the driver’s complete contact details and insurance information.
  • Get the names and contact details of any eyewitnesses.
  • After your medical treatment, contact an accident attorney at once.

WHAT CAN DRIVERS DO?

Here’s what conscientious motorists can do to lower the number of accidents that involve pedestrians in Florida:

  • Don’t eat, groom, or text. Don’t let kids, pets, the radio, or the scenery distract you.
  • Be alert. Always look for pedestrians. Be even more careful after dark.
  • Lower your speed and drive cautiously through construction zones.
  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Routinely have your tire pressure, brakes, wipers, lights, and safety belts checked.
  • Stay up-to-date regarding recalls of defective vehicles and defective vehicle parts.

ARE YOU AT RISK?

Every pedestrian is potentially a victim of negligence. You might be strolling on the sidewalk when a car, a bus, a truck, or a motorcycle careens out of the driver’s control. You could even be injured by a bicyclist or a skateboarder.

If you are injured by a negligent driver in South Florida – as a pedestrian, as a passenger, or as a driver – you must be represented by an experienced West Palm Beach personal injury attorney. Make the call as soon as you’ve obtained medical treatment.

walking in south florida

Florida is dangerous for pedestrians, but if you are an injured victim of negligence, the law in this state is on your side, and compensation is your right.