October 26, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- One of the many benefits enjoyed by all South Florida residents is the ability to walk or ride a bike, rather than riding in a car, throughout the entire year. These methods of transportation are often the most affordable and economically sound choices. Despite the many advantages, walkers and bicyclists run the risk of sustaining injuries if involved in motor vehicle accidents.
Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 4,280 pedestrians were killed nationwide in 2010 as a result of motor vehicle accidents
. In addition, approximately 70,000 pedestrians sustained injuries across the U.S. that year.
Common Characteristics of Pedestrian Fatalities in the U.S.
While the fatality statistics may seem surprisingly high, the data regarding some of the common characteristics of these types of accidents is even more shocking. According to the NHTSA report, practically 90 percent of the pedestrian fatalities in 2010 occurred when the weather was clear. This may be of particular concern to Florida residents, as the state generally sees a higher number of clear days than many other parts of the country.
In addition, only around 20 percent of the pedestrian fatalities occurred in intersections, with the remaining approximately 80 percent occurring in non-intersections.
Males are more likely to be victims of deadly pedestrian accidents
, and the majority of the accidents, 68 percent, occurred during the nighttime. Not surprisingly, the National Center for Statistics and Analysis reported that almost 50 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur on Fridays or over the weekend.
Finally, as might be expected, alcohol played a role in around 47 percent of the deadly crashes in 2010. In some cases, reports indicated the driver was impaired, while in others, the pedestrian was under the influence.
Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents
According to the NHTSA report, Florida had the second highest number of pedestrian deaths in the country in 2010, with a total of 487 fatalities. The only state with more pedestrian deaths that year was California with 599.
Consequently, the Florida Department of Transportation has been involved in ongoing campaigns aimed at raising awareness regarding the dangers posed to these residents. Ultimately, the FDOT's goal is to shrink the number of bicyclists and pedestrians who sustain injuries or suffer fatalities on the road.
Specifically, the FDOT is making efforts to increase the number of signs and lights on the road, to provide motorists with sufficient visibility of pedestrians and bicyclists. The FDOT is also concerned about the timing of traffic signals for pedestrians. Constructing medians above street level is another safety method being considered by the FDOT, to provide a safe place for pedestrians and bicyclists to escape an approaching vehicle, if necessary.
FDOT Recommendations for Safe Travels
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
suggests a number of ways for pedestrians to remain safe on Florida roads. Pedestrians should always walk on the sidewalk, when one is available. In addition, it is advisable to cross in a crosswalk at an intersection, rather than darting across the middle of the road when it appears to be clear.
As for bicyclists, the FDOT generally recommends riding with the flow of traffic and abiding by normal traffic laws. In addition, both bicyclists and pedestrians traveling at night should always wear clothing with reflective panels, to provide greater visibility to vehicles on the road.
When a pedestrian or bicyclist sustains injuries in a motor vehicle accident, the driver involved likely bears all or partial responsibility for the crash. Consequently, the injured party could be entitled to damages. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a Ft. Lauderdale pedestrian or bicycle accident, consulting with a skilled personal injury attorney will ensure you receive just compensation and your rights are protected.
Article provided by Fazio, DiSalvo, Cannon, Abers, Podrecca, Fazio & Carroll
Visit us at www.faziodisalvo.com/---
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