According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 4,735 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in 2013, and another 66,000 pedestrians who were injured. That means that on average, a pedestrian in this country was injured every eight minutes and killed every two hours in 2013. A pedestrian is defined as any person who is walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting, or lying down.
Orlando is More Dangerous Than Anyplace Else
In the 2014 Dangerous by Design report, published by Smart Growth America, Orlando was designated as the most dangerous metro area in the country for pedestrians. Importantly, the study concluded that 51 percent of pedestrian crashes are caused by a driver who failed to yield when required by law. The study also found that 74 percent (three quarters) of crashes involving pedestrians crossing a roadway occur on roads with four or more lanes, and another 24 percent occur on multi-lane roads without medians.
Not wishing to retain the top spot in this department, Orlando has undertaken major efforts to increase pedestrian safety. MetroPlan Orlando has brought together transportation planners, engineers, law enforcement and citizens to create a plan for improving pedestrian safety, called The Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. Under this plan, Orlando has prioritized funding transportation solutions which will reduce pedestrian crashes, and come up with a comprehensive set of engineering and enforcement strategies for local law enforcement and local government to implement. Smart Growth America concluded that Pedestrian safety can be improved by installing medians and refuge islands to reduce mid-street pedestrian crashes; installing lighting in key corridors to reduce pedestrian fatalities; and installing additional and enhanced crosswalks at locations without signals, and that is what the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan aims to implement.
Why are Pedestrian Accidents So Prevalent?
With the increase in distracted driving as a result of text messaging and other cell phone-related diversions, pedestrians are more in danger than ever before of being injured in an accident. While pedestrian accidents can happen to anyone, they are most prevalent among elderly and children. Pedestrian accidents can result in serious injuries, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and severe breaks and fractures. If you are a pedestrian who was injured in an automobile accident in Orlando because a driver failed to yield the right of way, failed to observe a cross-walk, or was otherwise distracted, you might have to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver to be properly compensated for your injuries.
What Can Pedestrians Do To Decrease the Risk of Accident?
Pedestrians can take some measures to reduce their risk of being hit by an automobile. Pedestrians should always exercise the utmost caution, especially at intersections, as that is where drivers are most likely to fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when they are trying to make a turn. Pedestrians should also carry a flashlight or wear reflective clothing when walking at night, to increase their visibility to motorists on the road.
What if You Have Already Been in an Accident?
If you have already been injured in an accident as a pedestrian, or you have lost a loved one in an accident because they were a pedestrian hit by a driver, you should seek legal counsel. Pedestrian-related bodily injuries are usually quite serious, and in most cases will require a claim to be brought against the at-fault driver’s insurance.