A New Phenomenon
The Orlando Sentinel released an article on Sunday, March 4, 2018, detailing a reported increase in pedestrian deaths not only across Central Florida, but across the entire United States. This increase has occurred after decades of decline in pedestrian deaths. The article states “After 8,000 pedestrian fatalities in 1979, deaths declined to about half that number – until 2009.” According to Richard Retting, a consultant for the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, “Now we are back up to 6,000 a year and it happened in just a few years.” As Retting goes on to state, “More than 6,000 people lose their lives after nothing more than going
out for a walk.”
The Orlando Sentinel article reports that in 2016, Florida ranked as the second deadliest state for pedestrian deaths with 3.22 deaths per 100,000 residents, second only to New Mexico at 3.45. Florida held a similar rate for 2017 as preliminary statistics report the state suffered 299 pedestrian deaths between January and June. California, with twice Florida’s population, was the only state with more pedestrian fatalities at 352.
The Smart-Phone Revolution
The Orlando Sentinel articles cites Mighk Wilson, a transportation planner for Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties, in stating “The thing that has changed is the smart-phone revolution.” As society has become more and more dependent on smartphones, the number of distracted drivers and distracted walkers has steadily increased. The correlation between smartphone usage and pedestrian accidents is painfully obvious.
The article reports some statistical trends regarding pedestrian deaths and dangerous roads. The majority of serious injuries and deaths occurred when pedestrians crossed midblock, therefore it is imperative to use the crosswalks. Additionally, the article mentions several roads that have proven to produce a higher risk of pedestrian accidents. Deaths have occurred on Orange Blossom Trail, at the University of Central Florida, the settled neighborhood of Bumby avenue near Curry Ford Road, the tourism district at International Drive and Silver Star Road in Pine Hills. All of these areas are known for high pedestrian traffic. It is especially
important to practice safe driving and roadside walking in these areas.
Often times a pedestrian accident is unavoidable due to the negligence of one party, whether it be the driver or the pedestrian. If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, it is imperative you hire a skillful lawyer to represent your interests and navigate Florida’s complex statutes surrounding your case. Call Frank Eidson at (407) 245 – 2887 for a free case review