According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 4092 pedestrian fatalities in 2009. While this represents a 7% drop from 2008’s numbers, the reality is that these accidents are highly preventable and the number of fatal accidents can be reduced even further. The NHTSA has also released information suggesting that children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to pedestrian accidents. According to the organization, 13 000 of the 59 000 pedestrians hurt in accidents in 2009 were children under the age of 15. More than half (55%) of those children were boys. In addition, in 2009, 16% of traffic fatalities across the country involved the elderly.
Hollywood, Florida has many clean and safe streets where pedestrians enjoy walking, but a significant elderly population as well as a significant population of younger children does mean that the city is at risk for Hollywood traffic accidents and pedestrian accidents. According to the NHTSA, there are many things that community members can do to make walking in the community safer for everyone.
1) Evaluate the risks for Hollywood pedestrian accidents in your area. The NHTSA website has a link to a handy checklist that you can use to evaluate your usual walking routes for safety (katana.hsrc.unc.edu/cms/downloads/walkability_checklist.pdf). This can be a good place to start in determining the safety of your walks.
2) Write to your elected representatives. According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO), it is the responsibility of governments to ensure that there are safe places to walk. If you find unsafe conditions – such as poorly repaired sidewalks that pose a Hollywood slip and fall accident hazard – write about it to your elected representatives and your newspapers to get changes made.
3) Take community action. If there is something simple – such as garbage or litter – affecting the safety of a walk, you can organize a neighborhood crew to clean it up. You can also organize neighborhood walking groups to ensure that everyone can walk safely with a group and can raise awareness about any safety issues in popular walking areas.
4) Walk safely when you walk yourself. Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes. Make sure that you walk with a friend where possible and wear light-colored clothing so that you are visible to cars. Where possible, stick to sidewalks and well-lighted trails rather than roadways where you need to share the road with cars. If you do need to walk in an area with no sidewalks, walk on the far shoulder of the road, as far from traffic as possible, heading towards traffic.
If you are injured in a Hollywood pedestrian accident, contact the legal team at the Flaxman Law Group for immediate advice and representation. The Flaxman Law Group has offices in Hollywood (as well as in Miami and Homestead) to serve you better. The legal team also offers a free, initial consultation so that you can discuss your situation with a Hollywood personal injury attorney before you make any decisions about your case. Contact the Flaxman Law Group today to arrange for your free, no-obligation consultation.