Florida is home to a lot of pedestrians — but that doesn’t mean that the roadways and city streets are built to accommodate them. A 2017 study funded by Smart Growth America found that eight of the 10- deadliest places in the country are located in Florida, making this state the deadliest in the nation for pedestrians.
It’s only recently, however, that lawmakers are finally taking action — likely due to the negative publicity surrounding two tragic accidents near Florida State University. A 19-year-old student was killed after being struck by a car while using a crosswalk near the campus back in January. Just a few days later, another 19-year-old student was seriously injured in another crosswalk. As a result, lawmakers are trying to add new crosswalks in areas where drivers and pedestrians alike are confused by the current system.
If pedestrians aren’t safe in the crosswalks that are designed for their use, where can they be safe? People should generally be safe when they’re using the crosswalks as intended, but thousands of people are hurt or killed anyway.
Most of the time, accidents involving pedestrians come about through no fault of the pedestrian. They’re caused by:
- Drivers who are distracted by their phones, guidance systems, passengers, coffee or something else and don’t have their eyes on the road
- Drivers who are confused about who has the right-of-way and when they are allowed to turn (causing them to turn into walkers just as the walkers step off the curb)
- Drivers who don’t look carefully enough when they’re driving — or just “look right through” a walker because they didn’t expect to see them
While lawmakers say that the current mishmash of lights, signals and walkways are a hazard for everyone, it’s clear that Florida drivers need to do better to prevent more pedestrians from being injured or killed as they try to navigate the cities.
If you were hurt in a pedestrian accident or your loved one was killed, find out what legal rights you have to compensation for your losses.