Sadly, when a pedestrian is hit by a car, there is a strongly likelihood that the pedestrian accident will result in serious injury or death to the pedestrian. A new report shows how serious the problem of pedestrian deaths is in Tampa Bay.
According to ABC Action News, the report from Smart Growth America found more walkers are dying in Florida than anywhere else in the nation with 8 of the top 10 worst metro areas being in Florida. The North Port/Sarasota and Bradenton area ranked 4th worst; Lakeland/Winter Haven ranked 5th worst, and St. Pete/Tampa ranked 9th worst per capita. However, the St. Petersburg/Tampa area had the most pedestrian deaths – 900 in nine years.
The Smart Growth America found US pedestrian deaths have shot up 35% between 2008 and 2017 and across the nation more than 13 pedestrians are getting hit a day. The report found drivers hit and killed 49,340 people crossing streets around the US between 2008 and 2017. Of those, 5,433 of the pedestrian deaths were in Florida.
ABC Action News reports that there are projects in the works to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths in Tampa Bay. FDOT just started a new project on Highway 19 in Pinellas County making the concrete wall medians higher so walkers can’t hop over them and run through the 6-lane highway (which I have seen a lot over the recent months). FDOT is also spending $743,000 to make the barrier twice as high between Whitney Road to 66th Street North.
Florida weather is nice and encourages walking. Unfortunately, many of the roads don’t. If you are walking, walk smartly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides these Walking Safety Tips:
- Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
- Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
- Whenever possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.
- If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely; continue watching for traffic as you cross.
- Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.
- Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
- Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment.
Following these tips could prevent you from being another pedestrian death statistic. Walk and drive safely and watch out for those who don’t!
Attorneys Matthew Noyes and Lorrie Robinson help families who are impacted by a Tampa Bay pedestrian accident. If you or someone you know has been injured after being hit by a car, call Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.