Pedestrian deaths are on the rise across the United States, with several Florida cities ranking very high when it comes to pedestrian accidents and deaths. In fact, nine of the 11 worst cities for pedestrian deaths are located in Florida.
The startling statistics come courtesy of a study conducted by Smart Growth America, a non-profit group that discourages driving all the time and instead encourages motorists to consider walking or biking to their destinations. The study found that nearly 4,900 pedestrians were killed in pedestrian accidents in 2014, a massive increase over the previous year and the highest number of pedestrian deaths since 2005.
Safety experts believe that one reason for the rise in pedestrian deaths in Florida and elsewhere in the U.S. is the strengthening economy. When the economic recession hit 10 years ago, there were less Americans hitting the roads in the morning because they didn’t have jobs and couldn’t afford to drive all the time. The end result was fewer auto accidents, which means that fewer pedestrians were being injured or killed. However, once the economy rebounded, more and more people could afford gas and automobiles. This meant more car accidents and more pedestrian deaths.
Fatal Pedestrian Accidents in Palm Beach County
The Smart Growth America study found that nine of the 11 cities that pose the greatest safety risks to pedestrians are located in Florida. This list of cities is based on census data for the 104 largest metro areas in the US, with the census data showing the total populations of the areas and the total number of pedestrian fatalities. According to the data, the most dangerous Florida cities for pedestrians include Cape Coral, Deltona, Jacksonville, Lakeland, Miami, Northport, Orlando, Palm Bay, and Tampa.
Amiko Atherton, the director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, speculated that lower-income individuals in Florida may be bearing the brunt of pedestrian accidents because these individuals have no choice but to walk to and from work. Moreover, said Atherton, pedestrians in wealthier parts of the country “have been more successful at advocating for safer streets.”
Regardless of where you live, pedestrian accidents can be deadly. The reality is that anyone who is walking on the side of the road needs to exercise extreme caution, especially when attempting to cross at dangerous intersections. Nowadays, many pedestrians have iPhones, headphones, and other electronic devices that can distract them as they walk. The same is true for drivers, which has led to a sharp rise in the total number of distracted driving accidents in recent years. While motorists are protected by the body of a car, however, pedestrians often suffer catastrophic injuries when they are struck by a motor vehicle. Moreover, many pedestrians who are killed in these types of accidents are children and senior citizens.
If you tragically lost a loved one in a fatal car accident in Palm Beach County, Florida, you need to speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer. The experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the Law Offices of Russ E. Robbins, P.A. are here to assist you and handle the complicated legal matters during this difficult time. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.