Facts About Car-Pedestrian Accidents That Can Determine How to Hire a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Clearwater & Tampa
Obviously there are always extenuating circumstances surrounding accidents involving cars and pedestrians, but one thing is certain, serious injuries usually occur. Both drivers and pedestrians can minimize the likelihood of a pedestrian-car accident by using caution and common sense. When an accident of this sort does occur near Clearwater or Tampa, Florida, it is prudent to consult immediately with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in Clearwater or Tampa, among the many injury attorneys in Tampa and Clearwater.
The extent of the problem:
Pedestrian-car accidents are more common in some states than others, and unfortunately Florida has one of the highest percentages. Across the country in 2009 there were 4,092 pedestrians killed by motor vehicles according to NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts. Also in 2009, 59,000 pedestrians were injured in the same way, almost one pedestrian injury every 9 minutes. This number may be even higher because many pedestrian crashes that cause injury are never recorded. In the state of Florida, the percentages are higher than throughout the country with 1.5 pedestrians killed every day and 20 injured. The statistics on pedestrian accidents in Florida are as follows:
- Pedestrian crashes – 8,346
- Pedestrians injured – 7,754
- Pedestrians killed – 546
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) breaks down the statistics further, revealing some disturbing trends.
- Most pedestrians killed (70%) are male.
- 72 percent of all pedestrian deaths occurred in cities.
- California, Florida, Texas and New York make up 42 percent of pedestrian deaths nationwide, but only make up 30 percent of the total traffic fatalities.
- About half of all fatalities occur on the weekends, and almost three quarters of all fatalities happen at night, between 4pm and 4am.
Steps to Avoid Pedestrian-Vehicle Accidents:
In many cases, car-pedestrian accidents occur when a pedestrian enters a road in front of car, and the driver does not have enough time to react and avoid a collision. Caution and common sense on both the driver and the pedestrian’s part helps to circumvent these accidents.
Follow Traffic Controls – Pedestrians should cross in a crosswalk and follow traffic lights and pedestrian “walk” and “don’t walk” signals. When pedestrians Jaywalk and cross the street in an unexpected location, they increase their risk of an accident. Any time a driver enters an intersection or area where there is a crosswalk, they should pay special attention to the actions of pedestrians.
Drivers in neighborhoods should always be on the lookout for a child darting out into the road after a toy or pet, or a parent running out into the road after their children. Other areas where drivers need to pay special attention are schools and parks.
Pedestrians should never walk along or attempt to cross a highway, especially at night. Although pedestrians have the right of way, it is extremely difficult for drivers traveling at high speeds to avoid accidents with pedestrians when they cross a highway.
Runners and walkers should always wear reflective gear and try to stay as highly visible to motorists as possible.
There are a few common sense rules for drivers that also decrease the risk of pedestrian accidents.
- Never drive when intoxicated, because the risk of hitting a pedestrian increases substantially.
- Never pass a school bus when the lights on the bus are flashing.
- Never run a red light.
If You Have Been Injured:
Even with caution and excellent driving, accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians do occur. If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, there are certain steps you should take in the immediate aftermath of the occurrence:
- Call the police so that you have an official record of what happened, and make sure to get insurance and contact information from the driver.
- See a doctor even if you do not feel injured, to make sure that no future health consequences are present.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
- NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2008: Pedestrians
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
- IIHS Fatality Facts 2008
- IIHS Pedestrian Information
- IIHS Pedestrian Q & A
- IIHS Status Report: Pedestrian Injuries