Florida is one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians. Palm Beach Post reported recently on one of the many pedestrians to lose their lives in the state of Florida over the course of the year. In this particular case, the pedestrian was killed on her 74th birthday as she was crossing the road. She was declared dead at the scene of the accident, while those who were in the car which struck her did not sustain any injuries.
Seniors like this victim are at particularly high risk of pedestrian accidents, as both seniors and young children are the demographic groups with the highest rate of deaths in pedestrian collisions. Many of these car accidents involving pedestrians could have been prevented if drivers had paid more careful attention.
Risks of Car Accidents Involving Pedestrians in Florida
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 501 pedestrian deaths within the state of Florida over the course of 2013. Pedestrian accidents accounted for 20.8 percent of total traffic fatalities and there were 2.56 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people.
This was a significantly higher rate of pedestrian deaths compared with other places like Alaska with a pedestrian death rate of .82 people killed per 100,000 people or Kansas with a pedestrian death rate of .86 people killed per 100,000 people.
Many of the pedestrians who are killed in Florida are over 65, just as this woman in the recent accident was when she died on her birthday. Like the woman in this case, the majority of pedestrians are killed in crashes involving only a single other vehicle, as compared with accidents involving multiple vehicles.
Single-vehicle pedestrian crashes oftentimes establish clear liability in a pedestrian accident case. These crashes can make it easier for victims - or their families - to determine who to sue, as usually it will be the driver of the single vehicle who a claim is made against if the victim can prove the driver was negligent. However, in the case of a hit-and-run crash, the victim may go uncompensated if the driver is not found after the accident.
Florida laws try to prevent pedestrian accidents by establishing who has the right-of-way under different circumstances. For example, cars have to yield the right-of-way when pedestrians are in crosswalks, are on the same half of the road as the car, or if the pedestrian is approaching from the opposite side of the road but is close enough to be in danger. Pedestrians, however, have to yield the right-of-way if they cross outside of unmarked crosswalks.
Despite these safety rules, accidents still happen and still take lives. Victims need to understand their right to pursue a claim against a driver if it can be proved the driver hit them because of a failure to exercise reasonable care or follow the rules of the road.