10 Nov

5 Safety Tips For Florida Pedestrians That Could Save Lives

Pedestrian Accidents, Tips

Safety Tips For Florida Pedestrians

Florida’s weather is perfect for outdoor activity (most of the time), which means that the state has much more pedestrian traffic than others. From students on Florida’s many university campuses to tourists in Florida’s many beach towns to professionals in Florida’s many metropolitan, downtown centers and everyone in between, walking is one of the primary methods of transportation in the Sunshine State. It’s a great way to get some vitamin D, improve your mood, get gentle exercise, be kind to the environment, and of course, arrive at your intended destination. Unfortunately, it can also be dangerous to walk places in Florida; the state has one of the highest pedestrian injury and fatality rates in the nation. 

According to Alert Today Florida (Florida’s pedestrian and bicycle focused initiative): 

  • Pedestrian fatalities in Florida are double the national average.
  • About three percent of all traffic crashes in Florida involve pedestrians, but they account for 20 percent of all traffic fatalities. 
  • On average, 1.3 Florida pedestrians lose their lives every day; this is almost ten pedestrians killed every week.
  • Every day, 17 Florida pedestrians are injured, which is nearly 120 injured pedestrians every week. 

The statistics are sobering. If you’ve been seriously injured as a pedestrian by a negligent driver, you’re not alone! There are many other people who share your experience, many people in power working to decrease the amount of accidents like yours, and compassionate pedestrian accident attorneys (like those at The Florida Law Group) who are here for you and your family and who can explain what you should do next. 

At The Florida Law Group, we’ve seen first-hand how devastating and life-changing pedestrian injuries can be, and we’ve made it our mission to fight for justice for our clients. If you were involved in a pedestrian accident, please reach out to our team as soon as possible so we can help you receive maximum recovery for your damages.  

Sadly, the vast majority of pedestrian collisions are preventable. Because our firm is so passionate about safety and prevention – our goal is for zero pedestrians to be injured every year – here are five safety tips for Florida pedestrians that could save lives! If you want to keep you and your family safe as you enjoy walking, jogging, or running outside, read and follow these safety tips to increase your chances of getting where you want to go without incident. 

 

1 – Walk In The Right Places 

This seems like common sense, but many pedestrians are struck and killed or badly hurt by cars because they aren’t walking in a safe place (or are jaywalking). Whenever possible, use sidewalks. Even if you must cross to the other side of the street to use a sidewalk, it is safer to do so. If there aren’t any sidewalks in the area, it’s generally safest to walk facing the direction of traffic. Stay as far to the left as possible and exercise extreme caution. 

Don’t walk on freeways or other places where pedestrians are prohibited or restricted. 

Cross streets at a corner. Of course, it’s tempting to cross in the middle of the block, especially if your destination is located there. However, this is where most accidents and injuries occur. Using traffic signals and crosswalks is much safer, particularly in high-traffic areas. 

No matter where you cross, be sure to always look both ways. Look left, then right, then left again before entering the street. Remember that some drivers might not see you even though you can see them. Following the first of these safety tips for Florida pedestrians could help you stay out of danger zones and avoid being hit by a driver who isn’t expecting you to be in their path!

 

2 – Be Mindful Of Intersections, Crosswalks, And Parking Lots 

At intersections, far too many drivers may fail to yield the right-of-way while turning onto another street. If there is a pedestrian signal, motorists have an obligation to watch and follow the pedestrian signal in favor of the traffic signal. However, they don’t always do this. Instead, they get so focused on what the traffic light tells them they can do (or are so distracted by their phones) that they forget to yield the right of way to any pedestrians that might be present in the intersection. Unfortunately, pedestrians must be mindful of this and watch out for these drivers – just because you are legally in the right to cross doesn’t mean you should do so if the driver isn’t paying attention to you. The same goes for crosswalks with flashing lights or clearly marked pedestrian signs. Make eye contact with any driver you encounter at a crosswalk or intersection before moving forward!

Parking lots are also especially dangerous since drivers have a limited view of their surroundings when backing their vehicles out. They frequently aren’t expecting anyone to be walking in or near their path, so extra attention is always needed in parking lots and around driveways. You should always be on the lookout in parking lots – don’t get distracted by your phone or purchases, particularly if you have young children – and try to anticipate what drivers might do.  

 

3 – Make Yourself Visible 

One of the best safety tips for Florida pedestrians is to always seek to be as visible as possible. Particularly if you are out walking at night, stick to wearing light, bright colors and wearing clothes with reflective materials to make you stand out. You can even purchase reflective tape from hardware stores and place it on your clothing if necessary. In extremely dark areas, it’s a good idea to carry flashlights as well. Not only will this help you see where you’re going, but it will also make you more visible to vehicles. 

Whenever possible, don’t walk near roads at night, dusk, dawn, or when it’s overcast; evening hours are the times when most pedestrian accidents occur. If you have to be out during these periods, try to walk where there are plenty of street lights to help you become more noticeable.  

 

4 – Always Stay Alert 

Unfortunately, distracted driving is a huge problem in Florida, and there are many drivers on the road who may not be giving the space in front of them their full attention at any given moment. This means that you need to have a heightened awareness at all times. Prevent your vision from being blocked by clothing, sunglasses, or hats. Try your best to make eye contact with drivers when crossing the road so you can gain a sense of whether they see you or not. In addition, you should always avoid texting, using the internet, or using your phone while walking. When crossing a street, avoid cell phone use entirely so you can observe your surroundings and reduce the possible risks and dangers you face. Texting while walking is distracting and makes it tricky to watch for traffic and any potential obstacles in your path, such as other pedestrians, animals, street lights, or bike racks. Your alertness could save your life or the lives of those walking with you!

 

5 – Always Walk Sober 

Another one of the noteworthy safety tips for Florida pedestrians is to walk sober. Drugs and alcohol aren’t just a dangerous combination for motorists; they are also dangerous for pedestrians. All pedestrians should avoid alcohol and drugs when out walking. Both substances can significantly impair your ability to walk safely and make good decisions, such as determining when is the right time to cross a busy road. Even some over-the-counter medications can be problematic to pedestrians, so you should read labels and be aware of any potential side effects before leaving home. Many injured pedestrians have been lulled into a false sense of security, thinking it will be safer to walk to their destination while drunk rather than drive, but lose their balance and become seriously injured. If you’re intoxicated, it’s safest to stay put, take public transportation, or call a ridesharing service!

 

Injured In A Pedestrian Accident? The Florida Law Group Is Here For You 

Sometimes, no matter how safe you act as a pedestrian, a single careless motorist is all it takes to turn your world upside down; you can’t control the actions of others, and you may find yourself being injured in an accident that you shared no fault for. If you were involved in a pedestrian accident that was caused by a reckless driver, seek medical care and legal help as soon as possible. You deserve fair and reasonable compensation for all of the expenses you incurred, and our law firm can help you hold the driver and their insurance company accountable. Call The Florida Law Group today to schedule a free consultation!