Florida Roads May Be Responsible for More Pedestrian Deaths Than You Realize
Posted by: DFX on Jun 02, 2017
Many people are shocked to learn that Florida has more pedestrian wrongful deaths due to auto accidents than any other state in the country. If that’s not surprising, consider that Florida pedestrians are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal auto accident compared to spots like New York City or Boston.
The study that showed these statistics offered a few reasons they believe the numbers are so high. First, they note that pedestrian deaths are up nationwide and that part of that reason is because people are distracted by being on their phones. However, they also said that the roadways are playing a part in the increase.
Florida has older roads and they were not built for active populations. We do believe that they often have an effect on pedestrian accidents. For example, sidewalks and crosswalks can’t be found on many roads in Florida. This is especially true on busier roads and highways. Without the proper options to safely walk and cross, it’s no wonder pedestrians are getting hit.
Many people wonder why the pedestrians don’t just walk to a crosswalk. In many instances, they’re as much as 1,000 feet away. Yes, it’s true that they should walk to them but the reality is that it’s such a long way, people often just take their chances.
The real issue with these roads is that they were built when the areas they’re in were mostly agricultural. There was no need for sidewalks and so they weren’t built. Now, as populations have increased in these formerly agricultural areas, there need to changes made. To their credit, the Florida Department of Transportation has made some efforts to get drivers to slow down but more needs to be done.
There are a few things we think could be done, based on what other cities with lower pedestrian deaths have found success with. First, simply limiting the width of residential streets to 25 feet gives pedestrians the ability to better avoid traffic. There are also roadway designs that can make intersections difficult to turn fast on and crosswalk signals can be re-timed to allow pedestrians more time to drive.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident as a pedestrian, then you need an aggressive and tireless personal injury attorney on your side. Reach out to Gilbert and Smallman for your free case evaluation and let’s go over your options.