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Are pedestrians safe in Florida?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Florida is known for its warm weather, gorgeous beaches and family-friendly entertainment. However, there’s one thing the state wishes it wasn’t known for — and that’s its high rate of pedestrian fatalities.

How bad is Florida for pedestrians? And how can you stay safe during your daily strolls?

Third in the nation for pedestrian deaths related to motor vehicle accidents

Pedestrian deaths in motor-vehicle accidents continue to rise across Florida, and in 2022, Florida was named number three of the states with 824 fatalities. So, what makes Florida’s roads so dangerous for walkers?

First, many cities and towns have been designed to focus on automobiles rather than pedestrians. Wide roads, high-speed limits and sprawling developments encourage driving over walking. There also needs to be more safe crossing points. And the available crosswalks need to give pedestrians more time to make it across multiple lanes of traffic.

Furthermore, as a society, we are becoming more distracted in our daily lives. For drivers and pedestrians, texting, talking, and using smartphones decrease the likelihood of noticing people and traffic signals and signs.

Florida’s demographics also contribute to the increased risk for pedestrians. The state is a huge tourist destination, and these tourists may be unfamiliar with local traffic laws and crossing points. They are also likely distracted by attempting to listen to navigational directions and watching for route signs instead of a person who is in a crosswalk.

Florida also has a significant elderly population, some of whom may have slower reaction times, reduced mobility or impaired vision and hearing. These factors may make both driving and walking more challenging.

Plenty of things can be done to improve pedestrian safety in Florida. Improving infrastructure and introducing traffic calming measures, such as reduced speeds, speed bumps and roundabouts, can help.

It’s also crucial to increase drivers’ awareness of the importance of yielding to pedestrians, adhering to speed limits and avoiding distraction. Law enforcement plays a critical role here. Enforcing traffic laws more strictly with harsh penalties for those who break them will help improve pedestrian safety. In addition, injured pedestrians should consider legal guidance to determine if they’re able to hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions. 


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