My Fox Tampa Bay reported recently about the near tragic pedestrian accident on Florida Avenue. The female pedestrian was struck by a car while crossing the street. The driver fled from the scene but was tracked down by police after a witness called 911, followed the escaping vehicle, and gave directions to dispatch for the police to track him down.
It’s a problem across Florida. But nowhere is it more accute than the Fort Lauderdale-Miami region.
Pedestrian accidents in Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere occur far too frequently but being the victim of a hit-and-run accident is inexcusable. Medical costs associated with pedestrian accidents can be overwhelming so contacting a Palm Beach pedestrian accident lawyer to fight for the compensation you deserve is the first step to making a full recovery both physically and financially.
Transportation for America recently released the 2011 pedestrian safety report. The Dangerous by Design 2011 report indicates that Florida contains the top 4 most dangerous metro areas which include: Orlando-Kissimmee, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Jacksonville and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach.
From 2000 through 2009, almost 48,000 pedestrians have been killed in the United States. This is equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing once a month over the course of a 10-year period. It is also reported that another 688,000 pedestrians have been injured in motor vehicle accidents during the same time period which equates to someone being struck every 7 minutes by a vehicle of some sort.
Our region remains one of the most dangerous parts of the state. From 2000-2009, Broward County reported 463 pedestrian fatalities, Hillsborough County reported 375 walkers killed on roadways, and Miami-Dade County reported 753 pedestrian fatalities during that time period. Florida’s overall Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) is 182.8 which is top in the nation.
Much blame is being put on state departments for not putting the resources towards pedestrian safety and improving ways to create a safe alternative for walkers. Of the federal funds available to state departments, only about 1.5 percent actually gets allocated toward projects that would improve pedestrian safety on roadways.
Most pedestrian deaths are deemed as ‘accidents’ but the truth of the matter is they are all considered preventable. A common denominator for most pedestrian accidents is that they occur on poorly designed roadways or streets manufactured for speeding traffic. From 2000-2009, 67 percent of the total pedestrian fatalities occurred on federal-aid roadways where something could be done by the state to make them safer.
Transportation for America is offering the following recommendations for the next federal transportation spending bill:
-Keep the two largest funding resources for bike and pedestrian safety, Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School programs in tact that Congress is considering eliminating.
-A national complete streets policy should be put in place in which federally funded projects should take into account all roadway users including pedestrians, bicyclists, children, adults and disabled individuals.
-Create a network of sidewalks, trails and bicycle paths that residents can use throughout a community which would keep them from sharing roadways with vehicles.
-Federal, state and local governments should set goals to spend Highway Safety funding entirely, rather than a small percentage, on pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist and motorist safety.
-Hold states accountable for the improvements being made (or lack thereof) to create a safer environment as well as a more active population.
It is evident that pedestrians are at high risk in our state so motorists need to keep a watchful and use extra caution in areas where pedestrians are prevalent.
Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez LLC are an experienced team of personal injury lawyers who represent victims and their families injured in pedestrian or car accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie or West Palm Beach, call for a free appointment at 1-800-561-7777.