Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

Published on:

According to a recent report published by the National Complete Streets Coalition and Smart Growth America, Florida leads the nation when it comes to the most dangerous areas for pedestrians. In fact, according to the report, the top four most dangerous regions in the country are all located in the state, with South Florida ranking fourth. In the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach South Florida area, pedestrians are injured by cars at almost triple the average national rate for pedestrian accidents.

Rather than disputing the claims, representatives from Florida Department of Transportation have acknowledged that there are some real concerns when it comes to pedestrian accidents in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and other South Florida areas. According to the National Complete Streets Coalition and Smart Growth America, 47,000 pedestrian died in accidents between 2003 and 2012. In South Florida in the past ten years, there have been 1,539 pedestrians killed, numbers that compare to much denser populations such as Los Angeles and New York.

shield-353741_640.jpg

According to the report, part of the problem may have to do with road design in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and other areas. Florida expanded rapidly following Word War II and at the time the focus was on rapid expansion, suburbs, and making auto-friendly routes. Unlike older developments, the focus was not on pedestrians but rather on making areas accessible to drivers. As a result, pedestrian-safe design was not a high priority and many areas were built up without much access for people on foot.

According to the National Complete Streets Coalition and Smart Growth America, another issue that could be contributing to high rates of pedestrian and car accidents in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and other cities is the larger elderly population. Of all states, Florida has the highest number of residents over 65. People in their senior years are more likely to be pedestrians, especially if illness prevents them from driving. At the same time, their age and some pre-existing conditions can mean that the elderly are more likely to suffer fatal or serious injuries in a pedestrian crash.

The report had a number of recommendations to make to improve pedestrian safety in South Florida and across the state. Among them was reducing the number of high-speed arterial lanes with many lanes. According to the report, this is where many fatal pedestrian accidents take place. The group also recommended adding more sidewalks and crosswalks to create safer areas for pedestrians to walk.

According to the Florida Department of Transportation, some changes have already been made in the state after a similar report in 2011 pointed out the dangers for pedestrians in Florida. However, the agency noted that it would take time to fix the problem. So far, engineers and the agency have been identifying areas where pedestrian accidents are a high risk and have been considering ways to slow traffic, reduce speed limits, limit right turns, and take other steps that could help prevent future collisions.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Florida has the unfortunate distinction of having one of the highest rates of pedestrian and hit and run crashes. Of all communities in Florida, Miami is known as having some of the highest instances of these types of accidents. In fact, according to The Miami Herald and the Huffington Post, Miami-Dade County has the most hit and run car accidents in the state. In 2012, the county saw 12,813 of these collisions, or an average of 35 per day.

glass-101792_640.jpg

There are many reasons why hit and run car and truck accidents happen in Miami:

•At-fault drivers may be driving without insurance, with a suspended license, or with no license
•At-fault drivers may panic and may drive from the scene of the accident without stopping to exchange contact information
•At-fault drivers may have a criminal record and may have a warrant out for their arrest or may be doing something illegal, so they seek to avoid contact with police and other authorities
•At-fault drivers may be driving under the influence and may not want to face the consequences of their actions
•At-fault drivers may not want their insurance rates to increase, so may drive off in order to avoid being blamed for the accident
•At-fault drivers may assume that they can get away with it or assume that they will not be found.

Since Miami has such a large population, there are simply more people who are willing to use these excuses for a hit-and-run traffic accident. Of course, there is no excuse. Under Florida law, all motorists must stop if they are involved in a collision and must offer assistance to any injured parties and also must exchange contact insurance information with the other driver. Failure to do so can result in serious penalties and even jail time.

It can be especially frustrating and frightening to be involved in a hit and run collision. Being involved in this type of collision can actually increase the chances that your injuries will be serious. This is because in many cases where a driver leaves the scene of an accident, they do not stop to offer assistance. If you have been seriously injured and getting help was delayed because the other driver has not stopped to offer assistance, the delay could complicate your medical condition and can make your injuries worse. In fact, each year some people are killed in hit and run accidents simply because no one arrives in time to provide needed medical care.

If you have survived a hit-and-run crash, you may wonder whether you will still be able to get insurance money, even if the other driver is not found. The answer is that in most cases you will be able to. If you have been in this type of accident, it is important to get medical attention and call the police first. Once that has happened, gather as much evidence as you can. Take photos of the car leaving the scene of the accident, note any contact information of any witnesses, note any details you can remember, and document your injuries. Contact your insurance company after you have the police report and your insurance company may be able to offer you insurance money, especially if you have under-insured or uninsured motorist coverage.

You may also wish to consult with a personal injury attorney in Miami or your community in order to discuss your legal options. A personal injury attorney can negotiate with your insurance carrier and can help you seek other options for pursuing justice in your case.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Childhood obesity is a national problem, and many pediatricians and health experts recommend daily activity – such as walking to and from school – to help children stay fit. However, many parents are concerned about letting their children bike or walk to school because they worry that their children will be injured en route. Luckily, there are many ways that parents can ensure that their kids stay are less at risk of pedestrian accidents in Davie and other communities:

1) Choose walking routes to and from school carefully. Discuss the routes your children will take to and from school. Look for routes that have less road traffic, where possible, but are still highly visible and not through secluded areas. Walk the route with your child a few times and discuss any potential dangers – such as busy intersections – with your children.

2) Encourage children to walk together. Children who walk together can look out for each other and can alert adults if one of them is injured. Groups of children may also be more visible to motorists and are less likely to be approached by strangers.

3) Encourage your city to create a safer pedestrian environment. A research study out of Columbia University in New York recently found that when New York City added traffic lights, pedestrian signals and speed bumps to streets near schools, there were fewer pedestrian accidents involving children walking to and from school. Traffic control measures such as pedestrian signs and speed bumps can help make walking safer in your community, as well.

4) Teach your children the rules of pedestrian safety early on. Children should know to look both ways before they cross the street and to make eye contact with motorists. Children should not be allowed to walk to school alone if they do not know the basics of walking safely and obeying traffic rules.

5) Make sure your children know the dangers of distracted walking. Distracted walkers are more likely to be injured in trip and fall or slip and fall accidents in Davie and other communities because they are not looking where they are going. They are also more likely to walk in front of traffic or be involved in a pedestrian accident because they may not notice the visual and auditory clues around them. Make sure your children are not texting or listening to music through headphones as they walk to school.

6) If your child decides to bike to school, make sure your child has a good helmet and the bicycling skills needed to get to and from school safely. Many bicyclists who sustain head injuries in Davie and other South Florida communities were not wearing a helmet at the time of their accident. Only allow your child to bike to and from school if they are willing to wear a helmet on every trip and know how to get to and from school safely.

Continue reading →

Published on:

A study out of the University of Washington recently found that up to one in three pedestrians are distracted while crossing streets – usually by cell phones or other mobile devices. Texting seems to be the most dangerous activity that pedestrians engage in. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that in 2012 over 1150 distracted pedestrians across the nation had to be admitted to Emergency Rooms due to the severity of their injuries. This is a fourfold rise in the number of serious injuries caused by distracted walking in the past seven years.

According to the University of Washington study, only about 25% of the distracted pedestrians observed looked both ways before crossing the street and 20% did not obey the light. 6% of the distracted pedestrians did not cross at appropriate locations. Most distracted walkers took longer to cross the street than non-distracted pedestrians, according to the study. 11% of the distracted pedestrians were listening to music, while 7% were texting and 6% were speaking on a mobile phone.

For pedestrians in North Miami Beach, there many ways to avoid pedestrian accidents caused by distracted walking:

1) Shut off mobile devices before walking. If you are walking as part of your commute or in order to stay fit, turn off your mobile device. This is especially important if you will be crossing streets or walking in areas that share pedestrian and road traffic. Since many pedestrian accidents in North Miami Beach and across Florida appear to be caused by distracted walking, simply turning off your devices and refusing to text and walk can reduce your risk of an accident.

2) Consider walking with a friend. Walking with a friend is a lot less distracting than trying to text a friend as you walk. Walking with a friend also ensures that you can enjoy some entertainment or some social interaction while you walk. With two sets of eyes on the road, you also can increase your chances that you will see any potential hazards in your way.

3) Maintain good visibility. You want to ensure that you can both see correctly and be seen easily while walking. This is especially important if you share the road with vehicles. Wear light-colored, reflective clothing, especially if you’re walking in the dark or in dim lighting. Make sure that you don’t wear a hood or any obstruction that would make it hard for you to see oncoming cars.

4) Be wary of listening to music while walking. While it may seem less distracting than texting because you at least can keep your eyes on the road, listening to music prevents you from hearing important audio clues – such as the beeping of a car horn – that can help prevent a traffic accident or car accident in North Miami Beach.

5) Wear proper clothing for a walk. Trip and fall accidents and slip and fall accidents in North Miami Beach and across South Florida are a common hazard for pedestrians. Sturdy shoes as well as clothing that allows you to move freely is important in preventing injuries and accidents.

Continue reading →

Published on:

According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted pedestrians are an increasing problem, with the number of pedestrian fatalities caused by car accidents jumping 4% in 2010. According to the NHTSA, there were 4280 pedestrians fatally injured in car accidents in 2010. That year, pedestrian accidents accounted for 3% of reported injuries and 13% of all vehicle accident fatalities. In 73% of fatal pedestrian accident cases, the accidents took place in urban spaces. About 90% of the accidents took place in fair weather and 80% took place in non-intersection areas. However, 68% of the accidents took place during the right.

According to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, drivers cannot take the full blame for the accidents. According to LaHood, both pedestrians and drivers have a responsibility to share the road safely and to remain alert. Jonathan Adkins of the Governors Highway Safety Association and other experts believe that pedestrian distraction is one of the major reasons for the increase in pedestrian fatalities.

Miami is a city with many cars and pedestrians, so the increase in fatalities is concern for the community. To avoid being injured in a Miami car accident when crossing the street, experts recommend the following:

1) Stay alert when walking. Distracted walking is a major concern when it comes to Miami pedestrian accidents. Many people are aware that using mobile devices while driving leads to Miami truck accidents and car collisions. However, using mobile devices can also be dangerous when walking. Listening to music or talking on the phone when walking, for example, prevents a pedestrian from listening to important traffic cues. Looking at a mobile device can cause a pedestrian to inadvertently walk out into traffic.

2) Avoid walking home under the influence. Of course, Miami drunk driving accidents continue to be a concern. However, walking home under the influence may not be the best plan when it comes to avoiding a drunk driving collision. Pedestrians under the influence are more likely to injure themselves in a Miami slip and fall or trip and fall accident and may wander into traffic or fail to notice oncoming traffic.

3) Stay visible. Pedestrians are always safer when drivers can see them. This may mean wearing reflective clothing at night or bright clothing during the day. It can also mean making eye contact with drivers before crossing the street, to make sure that drivers see you.

4) Cross at crosswalks and intersections where possible. If this is not an option, wait for a break in traffic that will allow you to cross with plenty of time.

5) Use a path or sidewalk where possible. Sharing a roadway with cars is dangerous. In areas where there is no sidewalk, use the shoulder of the road or even walk on the lawns rather than stepping into the road, if possible. Walk towards oncoming traffic.

Continue reading →

Published on:

In recent years, there has been a lot of emphasis placed on the dangers of distracted driving. Although Florida is one of only a few states not to enact a ban on texting and driving (or mobile phone use and driving), many drivers in Hallandale Beach understand that distracted driving can lead to a Hallandale Beach car accident, and voluntarily put their mobile devices away.
According to some experts, however, pedestrians may not be getting the same message.

Many experts agree that being distracted while walking can be dangerous and can lead to a Hallandale Beach pedestrian accident. Many pedestrians, however, choose to distract themselves by texting, listening to music, talking on their cell phones, eating, or otherwise occupying themselves as they walk. Now that walking has become a popular form of exercise, some walkers want to multi-task or distract themselves while they exercise – just as they would in the gym. However, distracted walkers may be putting themselves in danger of a Hallandale Beach traffic accident or even in danger of becoming the victim of a crime.

1) Treat walking like you would driving – especially if you are walking on a sidewalk or anywhere near cars. Putting away mobile devices, food, drink, and music allows you to focus on your surroundings, so that you can notice cars and traffic around you. Although cars should yield right of way to pedestrians, you as a pedestrian also have a responsibility to look out for cars.

2) Consider walking trails that take you far from car traffic. These at least reduce the risk of a pedestrian accident. However, keep in mind that distracted walking in these areas can still lead to a Hallandale Beach slip and fall accident or can put you at risk of personal crime. One advantage, however, is that walking along green space trails can provide a natural point of interest, so that you feel less need for distraction.

3) If you want to multi-task, walk in the gym or a safe indoor area. A treadmill at the gym allows you to watch a show, surf the web, or listen to music as you walk. There are also indoor walking clubs at arenas and other facilities that provide a flat, safe surface so that you can walk without having to focus on personal safety. If you cannot bear the idea of walking without some form of distraction, these are the safest options.

4) Wear proper walking gear. Comfortable, sturdy shoes can prevent falls while correctly fitted clothing is more comfortable and offers less of a distraction. During the summer, make sure to bring water as well as sunglasses and a hat to prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

5) Consider all forms of distraction. Just because you are not using a mobile phone while walking does not mean you are not distracted. If you are daydreaming, talking to a walking buddy, or doing anything that makes you not notice the environment around you, you are distracted. Become aware of your common distractions so that you can prevent them.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Miami pedestrian accidents are a common concern, especially in warmer months, when more people head outside to take advantage of spring and summer days. The spring and summer also mean tourist season in Miami, which can mean more pedestrians on the streets and visitors explore the city.

Unfortunately, Miami’s high traffic volume as well as the large number of pedestrians in the city can mean the risk of Miami pedestrian accidents. Each year, pedestrians are seriously injured in Miami bicycle accidents and Miami traffic accidents when walkers are struck by vehicles or bikes. Luckily, there are several things that pedestrians can do to help prevent this type of accident:

1) Stay visible. When motorists cannot see pedestrians, Miami car accidents involving pedestrians are likely to occur. For this reason, it is important to wear bright clothing when walking, and reflective clothing when walking at night. At night, pedestrians may want to carry a flashlight or other type of light when walking. There are shoes and other articles of clothing that automatically light up, making pedestrians more visible. Walking in clear spaces – where there are no trees or parked cars to distract drivers – also ensures that drivers can see you.

2) Consider walking trails and green spaces. Pedestrians have little or no chance if they are struck by a heavy vehicle in a Miami truck accident or car accident. The force and size of the vehicle can crush bones, cause serious trauma to the upper body, and can even drag a pedestrian along until the vehicle comes to a complete stop. Fatalities are common in this type of accident. For all these reasons, it is generally safer to walk in areas where there is no need to share the space with car traffic. Parks and green spaces ensure that you are well away from road traffic. Nevertheless, keep in mind that walking trails have their own hazards. You may have to share paths with bicyclists, for example, so it is important to stay alert.

3) Do not walk distracted. Many people today are aware that distracted driving can easily lead to Miami car accidents, but fewer realize that distracted walking can be just as dangerous. Distraction can include anything from walking while texting to walking while listening to music. Distracted pedestrians can make mistakes, such as stepping out into traffic or failing to notice a car moving in their direction. Distracted pedestrians are also less likely to notice obstacles and therefore more likely to suffer injuries from a Miami slip and fall accident. Keeping aware of your surroundings helps keep you safe – whether you are walking, driving, or bicycling.

4) Think like a driver. Motorists expect pedestrians to be in specific areas only – such as on sidewalks and in crosswalks. Be careful about crossing streets between crosswalks and stick to those areas where motorists expect pedestrians to be.

Continue reading →

Published on:

According to The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk pedestrians in 2008 were four times as likely to be in a fatal accident as those who were not intoxicated. In Florida, almost one third of fatal and serious pedestrian accidents in 2010 involved an intoxicated pedestrian. Drinking increases the risk of Coconut Creek pedestrian accidents in a number of ways:

1) Pedestrians who have been drinking cannot evaluate a car’s speed and distance as accurately as someone who is sober. Drinking can make it harder for pedestrians to accurately evaluate risks, including car distance and speed. This can make it harder for intoxicated pedestrians to evaluate when it is safe to cross the street.

2) Pedestrians who are drinking are more likely to make poor choices and judgements. Intoxicated pedestrians may sit down on a curb or even in the road, may fall asleep on road areas, or may step out in between parked cars, increasing the risk of Coconut Creek car accidents. In some cases, intoxicated pedestrians may try to cross the street on a red light or may take other risks which can lead to a Coconut Creek pedestrian accident. Just as drivers are discouraged from drinking and driving, pedestrians should be discouraged from drinking and walking, as some of the same poor choices that affect drivers can affect pedestrians as well.

3) Pedestrians who have been drinking may have poor motor skills. Pedestrians who have been drinking are more likely to fall over or to stumble when attempting to cross roadways. This can cause Coconut Creek slip and fall and trip and fall accidents, and can cause pedestrians to fall in the path of an oncoming car.

4) Pedestrians who have been drinking may have a harder time getting out of a dangerous situation. Intoxicated pedestrians may have a hard time getting out of the way of an oncoming car or generally getting out of the way of hazards in time.

Transportation for America reports that Florida is among the worst states for pedestrian fatalities. Unfortunately, drinking and walking can exacerbate the problem. While getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking can easily lead to Coconut Creek drunk driving accidents, walking home after drinking may not necessarily be a safer option. This is important for people to remember, since to many motorists walking home after drinking can seem like a better idea. Relying on public transportation, friends who can get you home safely, or a taxi may be a safer way to avoid Coconut Creek drunk driving accidents as well as Coconut Creek pedestrian accidents.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

The dangers of Miami drunk driving accidents have been well documented, and there are many public awareness campaigns organized by groups such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) intended to raise awareness about the dangers of driving drunk. However, many authorities have been trying to send the message that walking while intoxicated can be just as dangerous.

According to a recent article in the Sun Sentinel, 32 fatal Florida pedestrian accidents in 2010 involved a pedestrian with an elevated blood alcohol level. Across Florida, about 13% of serious pedestrian accidents involved an intoxicated pedestrian. In Miami, pedestrian accidents also take place when pedestrians have been drinking. In Broward County alone, 7% of pedestrian accidents in 2010 involved a pedestrian who was intoxicated. In Palm Beach County, 9% of such accidents last year involved a pedestrian who had been drinking.

While walking home after drinking can seem like a safer alternative than drinking and driving, it is not a safe way to get home. Drinking reduces mobility and agility. Drunk pedestrians are susceptible to being injured in Miami slip and fall accidents or trip and fall accidents. They are more likely to fall down, wander into traffic, or try to cross the street outside of crosswalks. Pedestrians who have been drinking may also show poor judgment and may even in some cases lose consciousness near the road, putting them at risk being hit by a car.

If you have been drinking, there is no doubt that you should not drive. Far too many Miami car accidents are caused by drunk drivers. However, walking home alone is also clearly not a safe solution. A better option might be to get a ride from a designated driver, sober friend, public transport, or a taxi. If these are not options, drunk pedestrians should not head home alone, especially if they are severely intoxicated. Walking home with someone who is sober can ensure that a pedestrian is not hit by a car, does not fall over, or otherwise does not injure themselves.

The statistics about pedestrian accidents involving pedestrians who have been drinking stress one thing: drinking can easily cause injuries in a number of ways. Even when someone who is intoxicated is not behind the wheel of a car, he or she is vulnerable to injuries caused by reduced mobility and judgment. Even simply walking home can be dangerous. Those who serve alcohol need to be aware of this. Even if you are just serving alcohol at a holiday party at home, you need to be aware that simply ensuring that guests do not drink and drive may not be enough to keep your guests safe. You need to ensure that your guests get home safely with a sober driver or pedestrian who can help them reach home.

Continue reading →