There were thirty-four pedestrian deaths in Hillsborough County in 2014. In 2015, there was a 50% increase in the number of pedestrian death with 51 pedestrians being killed while walking Hillsborough County streets. That was the most pedestrian deaths since the state began tracking the data in 1998.
According to TBO.com, the Tampa Bay metropolitan area — which includes St. Petersburg and Clearwater — was ranked second in the country behind Orlando as the “most dangerous places to walk” by Smart Growth America, a neighborhoods advocacy group. Because of the embarrassing title, the area has taken measures to improve pedestrian safety like installing more crosswalks in high traffic areas and educating children about how to safely walk along and cross streets.
The alarming number of pedestrian accidents in recent years has prompted the State Department of Transportation to make safety improvements and conduct studies along Fletcher Avenue and Busch Boulevard, two of the county’s more dangerous roads. East Fletcher had recorded one of the higher pedestrian accident rates in Hillsborough County — three deaths and 22 incapacitating injuries in 63 pedestrian accidents during the five years from 2006 through 2010 – that’s on one street. In response, TBO.com tells us that Hillsborough County injected $4.4 million into Fletcher Avenue, installing flashing warning signs, expanding “safety islands” in the middle of the street and adding a host of other safety measures to protect the estimated 1,400 pedestrians who cross daily.
Preventing pedestrian deaths requires both walker and drivers to pay closer attention and follow safety rules. Many pedestrians are injured while crossing the road not at a crosswalk (partially because there are not enough crosswalks in busy areas). Pedestrians should always be patient and map their walk knowing where the crosswalks are. Drivers need to be better attention to pedestrians. If there are schools or shops around, there will likely be pedestrians. Drivers need to be on a better lookout for walkers in these areas. Remember, even if a pedestrian is breaking a safety rule, drivers should remember that a collision with their car could prove deadly and haunt the driver – whether or not it was the driver’s fault.
Walk and drive safely and watch out for those who don’t.
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those injured in pedestrian accident, car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. He is a named partner at the Tampa Bay law firm of Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes – one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Pinellas County. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes now at 727-796-8282 or complete the form on this page or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.