Pedestrians in Florida must follow the laws to stay safe and to keep others safe, just like drivers. However, accidents happen every day, and when pedestrians are hit by vehicles, the injuries can be incredibly serious.
Here are several facts about pedestrian accidents in the U.S.
- Every year, over 4,000 pedestrians are killed and 60,000 are injured.
- Every eight minutes, a pedestrian is injured. Every 113 minutes, a pedestrian is killed.
- Children, elderly people, and people with low socioeconomic status are the most frequent fatality victims.
- Males are more likely to be injured or killed than females.
- Minorities are more likely to be killed in a pedestrian accident than non-Hispanic Caucasians.
- The most likely time of day for a pedestrian fatality is between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.
- Almost 40 percent of pedestrian fatalities involve an intoxicated pedestrian. About 18 percent of pedestrian fatalities involve a drunk driver.
- Seventy-five percent of pedestrian fatalities occur outside an intersection.
- Pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas two-thirds of the time.
What injuries are most common?
Injuries Typically Associated with Pedestrian-Vehicle Accidents
The extent of injuries depends on several factors, including the vehicle’s size, speed, and design; the pedestrian’s height, weight, and center of gravity; and the angle of impact.
The first impact to a pedestrian occurs when the lower leg comes into contact with the vehicle’s front bumper. Fifty percent of pedestrians experience injuries to their lower extremities. Broken bones, lacerations, trauma to muscles and ligaments, and pelvis fractures are common.
Head, face and neck
The second impact pedestrians typically experience is when they strike the hood or windshield with their head and/or upper body region. Thirty-eight percent of pedestrians experience injuries to their head, face and neck. Common examples include concussions, lacerations, skull or jaw fractures, neck injuries, vertebrae injuries, and shoulder displacement.
The third impact occurs when a pedestrian either lands on the vehicle’s hood or is tossed over the vehicle. Twenty-seven percent of pedestrians experience injuries to their upper extremities. Musculoskeletal injuries are common in the hands, wrists, and arms. Chest and abdominal injuries may also occur.
Pedestrians are twice as likely to have a head injury than an injury to their chest or abdomen. Either area of injury can be quite severe and potentially even fatal to a pedestrian.
What Florida Pedestrians Can Do to Stay Safe
The first thing to do is follow all applicable laws. Florida statutes are clear on the following expectations for pedestrians.
- Obey all traffic controls unless a police officer directs otherwise.
- Walk on a sidewalk if it is available.
- If a sidewalk is not available, a pedestrian must walk on the left side of the roadway.
- Pedestrians have the right-of-way inside a crosswalk.
- If a pedestrian must cross the road outside a crosswalk, the pedestrian must yield to the right-of-way for all vehicles.
- Pedestrians must cross the street at a right angle, unless a traffic control device authorizes diagonal crossing.
- Pedestrians are prohibited from suddenly walking or running into a vehicle’s path.
- Pedestrians may not enter or stay on a bridge or railroad crossing once a signal has been given.
Do these things and you greatly reduce your chances of getting into an accident while walking.
That being said, sometimes things are out of your control as a pedestrian. If you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to sue for damages. You shouldn’t have to pay for medical bills that someone else caused. Call today for a free case review.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.