Walking is good for your health. Studies show walking 30 minutes a day, several times a week, can help to reduce stress, lower cholesterol, and increase muscle strength and flexibility. Walking also provides a good way to get to know your neighborhood as well as your neighbors, and enables you to slow down and enjoy sights and sounds you normally wouldn’t notice if you were traveling by car. Unfortunately, for residents of the Sunshine state, the virtues and merits of walking can be overshadowed by some grim statistics: Florida has consistently ranked highest in the nation for injuries and fatalities due to pedestrian accidents. Here’s what you need to know about the dangers facing pedestrians, and how you can help protect yourself from becoming a statistic.
Dangers Facing Pedestrians
Based on reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Florida fatality rates due to pedestrian accidents have historically been nearly double that of the rest of the country. Included among the top 10 Florida counties for pedestrian injuries and deaths are Miami-Dade County, Orange County, and Polk County. Pedestrian accidents occur with the most frequency at the following places:
- Mid-block locations without crosswalks;
- Intersections, especially where ‘right on red’ maneuvers occur frequently;
- Driveways and entrance/exit ramps;
- Bus stops; and
- Major arteries without sidewalks.
Environmental factors can also be a major contributor to pedestrian accidents, and may include conditions such as wet roads, fog, or low light days.
Injuries Due To Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are more likely to cause death and serious injuries than any other kind of traffic accident. Injuries common in pedestrian accidents include:
- Head and brain injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Multiple bone fractures and sprains; and
- Damage to internal organs.
Injuries due to pedestrian accidents can often result in long term disability and require extensive medical treatments and physical rehabilitation.
Protect Yourself Against Pedestrian Accidents
In order to protect yourself when out walking, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recommends the following safety tips for pedestrians:
- Always walk on the shoulder of the road, and be sure you’re facing traffic.
- Cross only at intersections and designated crosswalks, and obey crosswalk signals.
- Wear brightly colored, reflective clothing to make yourself visible to drivers.
- If you must walk at night, carry a flashlight.
- Don’t walk when you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Limit your use of earbuds or cell phones so you’re not distracted.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Injury Attorney
Pedestrian accidents cause serious, often life threatening injuries. If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys. At Hogan Frick, we can help you receive compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. With offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland, our attorneys will fight to get our clients the damages they deserve. Don’t hesitate; reach out to us today for a free review of your case.