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Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plan

Bicyclist and pedestrian safety are among eight emphasis areas in Florida’s 2012 Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). The SHSP has identified six strategies on which to focus safety efforts.

In the detailed Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plan, officials are working to provide a comprehensive framework to reduce the risks of injuries and fatalities among bicyclists and pedestrians along our busy public roads. Key areas in this plan are focusing on aggressive driving habits, intersection accidents, vulnerable road users, lane-departure accidents and looking closely into traffic information throughout the state.

In 2011, the state’s pedestrian fatality fate was close to double the nation’s average and bicycle deaths were close to triple the national average. According to the National highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Sunshine State had the highest fatality rates among all states in 2011 for pedestrian fatalities, at close to 3 per 100,000 people. Even though the fatality rate decline a little bit from 2010 to 2011, our bicycle fatality rate increased from about .40 fatalities per 100,00 people to about .63 — a jump of about 50 percent.

Our personal injury attorneys in Coral Springs understand that Florida only accounted for about 11 percent of the nation’s population in 2011, but we accounted for more than 17 percent of all bicycle fatalities in the nation that year. The “Dangerous By Design” report shows us that the top four metropolitan areas on the list for areas most dangerous for pedestrians were all in the state of Florida, including Orlando-Kissimmee, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Jacksonville and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach. Miami-Dade County was ranked as the most dangerous for pedestrian fatalities and injuries from 2007 to 2011.

Pedestrians and bicyclists are so vulnerable in motor-vehicle accidents because they lack protection. In 2010, there were close to 500 pedestrian fatalities, more than 2,000 non-fatal hospitalizations and close to 8,000 E.R. visits.

The injury severity of pedestrian crashes for the years 2007 to 2011 shows us that even though the total number of crashes has slightly decreased, the number of injuries and fatalities remains high.

Regarding bicycle accidents, there were more than 530 bicyclists killed and another 22,000 injured on Florida roadways from 2007 to 2011.

Pedestrian Fatality Characteristics:

-Average Injury Age: 45- to 54-years-old

-Average Death Age: 65- to 74-years-old

-Largest Decrease During Study: Age 35- to 44-years-old

-Emergency Room Visits: Under the age of 21.

One of the major factors in crashes is what the pedestrian was doing at the time of the accident. For crashes with complete records, the majority of pedestrians were crossing somewhere other than at an intersection (close to 30 percent) while crossing at an intersection was a close second (roughly 25 percent). It is noteworthy to mention that the “all other” crashes is an area that needs better understanding and focus because it encompasses about 25 percent of all pedestrian crashes and does not indicate a clear reported location.

Contact Freeman Injury Law for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-561-7777.

More Blog Entries:

Broward Pedestrian Accidents & The Risk of Hybrid Vehicles, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, January 12, 2013

High School Student Hit and Killed in Florida Bicycling-Car Accident, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, September 2, 2011

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