No matter how you get around these days, everyone, at some point in the day, is a pedestrian. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), pedestrian deaths across the U.S. are on the rise.
The numbers don’t lie. According to reports done by the NHTSA, 6,283 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2018. These numbers represent a 3.4% increase from 2017 and the highest we have seen since 1990. This same information shows that a pedestrian died every 84 minutes in 2018, which translates to 17% of all traffic deaths.
With the novel coronavirus present this summer, it may feel like you are walking a lot more. Whether you are strolling through your neighborhood or walking to the grocery store, there are a few safety tips that our Tampa Bay Pedestrian Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton would like to share with you:
- Stay on a sidewalk or designated walking path, if one is available. If there is not one present, then remember to walk in the direction facing traffic staying as far away from cars as possible.
- Before you cross the street, make sure you are at a marked crosswalk or intersection where motorists will expect to see pedestrians. If there is no designated crosswalk or intersection, then wait for a gap in traffic and cross when you have enough time to make it safely to the other side of the street. Make sure you still stay alert for oncoming traffic as you cross.
- Stay alert and minimize distractions like headphones and cell phones as you could miss hearing any potential warnings, like a car horn, sirens, or you could fail to see a traffic signal at a crosswalk.
- Drunk walking is dangerous. The NHTSA reports that 33% of deadly pedestrian crashes involved a drunk pedestrian in 2018. You can get home safer by calling a friend to come and get you, or using a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft.
- Do not just assume motorists will see you, as they could be distracted or even under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You can help boost your visibility by wearing bright colored clothes during the day, and if you must walk at night, wear reflective clothing and use a flashlight.
Just like pedestrians need to exercise caution when walking, so do drivers when they get behind the wheel. There are many dangers on the roadways, but keeping a watchful eye at all times can help you get to and from your destinations safely and in one piece. The following safety reminders serve to help drivers avoid a pedestrian crash:
- Always be on the lookout for pedestrians. You will see people walking morning, noon, and night, so always keep your eyes adjusted to walkers.
- You must follow the laws regarding pedestrians in Florida. You can review Florida laws on pedestrians here.
- Exercise added caution when you are in areas where children may be present, such as schools, neighborhoods, parks, etc.
- Do not pass cars that are stopped in crosswalks as they could be allowing pedestrians to pass.
- Be patient and slow down! Obey posted speed limits. Speed limits are lower in pedestrian-heavy areas because in the event of an accident, pedestrians have a better chance at surviving a lower speed crash.
No one plans to be involved in a pedestrian accident, but they definitely happen, and that is why our Tampa Pedestrian Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help you understand your rights. Whether you were injured or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, we can make sure all critical evidence is preserved and work to resolve your case through negotiations or trial, when necessary.
Like we mentioned before, pedestrian accidents are unexpected, and these tragedies can be devastating. Let us help you and your family pursue full and fair compensation for all damages so that you can focus on putting the pieces of your life back together.