While driving to work the other day, I entered the path of a pedestrian. I am sure that had I been distracted in any way, be it a cell phone, another person in the car, or even changing the radio, I would not have been able to stop in time. The person was walking in a marked crosswalk and clearly had the right of way. However, I was unable to see him until I turned into the crosswalk.
The pedestrian was probably between the ages of 10 and 15 and it was about 7:40 in the morning. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), children under the age of 15 account for 7% of all pedestrian fatalities and 25% of all pedestrians injured in traffic crashes. Also, over the last 35 years of collected data, more than two-thirds of the pedestrians killed were males. The NHTSA also reported that 13% of all pedestrian accidents happen between the hours of 4 a.m. and 7:59a.m.
In the state of Florida, pedestrian traffic fatalities account for 18.2% of all traffic fatalities. The National Average is 12.1%. Pedestrian Fatalities per 100,000 population in Florida is 2.51, whereas in Wyoming, that number is only 0.37. The District of Columbia also has an alarmingly high rate of pedestrian fatalities. Of the 29 total traffic fatalities, 48.3% (or 14) were pedestrian fatalities.
Remember, 37% of pedestrian accident fatalities occur on the weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) between the hours of 8 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. However, 23% of all pedestrian fatalities occurred on those same days between the hours of 12 a.m. and 3:59 a.m.
In other words, if you are a pedestrian between the hours of 8 p.m. and 3:59 a.m. you should be extra cautious and aware of your surroundings. Also, if you are driving between those same hours, be on the lookout for pedestrians.
Here are a few safety reminders for both drivers and pedestrians:
- Drivers are required to yield to the right-of-way pedestrians.
- Drivers should also reduce all distractions while driving.
- Pedestrians should always use a designated crosswalk.
- Pedestrians can increase visibility by carrying a flashlight and wearing retro-reflective clothing.
- Walk on the sidewalk when possible. If not, then walk facing traffic.
If you have been injured as a pedestrian and have questions, please call the Sarasota Attorneys at the Mallard Law Firm 941-952-1682. They are here to answer your questions and help you with your case.