Pedestrian safety threatened by distracted drivers
Florida's roadways are among the most dangerous in the United States for pedestrians, and the vast majority of crashes that lead to injury or death involve some degree of distracted driving. There are many ways drivers can become distracted while sitting behind the wheel, such as eating and drinking, multitasking, grooming, tuning a radio, or talking to passengers.
The problem only continues to grow worse as technology improves. Once cellphones became widely available to the public, we saw an increase in car accidents linked to texting and driving.
Florida is behind the curve
Many states, including Florida, have passed laws making it an offense to text and drive. For several years, it was only a secondary offense in Florida, which means that police couldn't pull drivers over specifically for texting and driving. In order to cite drivers for texting and driving, police had to pull them over for a different traffic violation.
As of January 1, 2020, texting and driving became a primary offense in Florida. While that was a step in the right direction, the Sunshine State still hasn't been able to keep up with the advances in technology. Today's cellphones offer a much wider array of apps and uses that weren't previously available. While many other states have passed widespread cellphone bans that extend beyond texting and driving, Florida has yet to do so. And it shows in the number of pedestrians killed on our roadways.
According to the NHTSA, pedestrian deaths have been consistently on the rise in Florida each year since 2012. For example, there were 477 pedestrian deaths in 2012 and 704 in 2018.
What makes pedestrians so vulnerable?
Drivers have far more protection than pedestrians. Not only are they encased in solid vehicular structures, but they also have the protection of airbags, seat belts, and other modern safety features. If you get hit by a car as a pedestrian you are at risk of suffering a serious injury, such as a broken bone, spinal cord damage, paralysis, or traumatic brain injury.
Pedestrian accidents are often caused by distracted drivers:
- Running through a red light or stop sign while a pedestrian is crossing the street.
- Running off the road and hitting a pedestrian on the sidewalk.
- Rear-ending another driver and causing a chain reaction.
- Failing to see a pedestrian at night.
- Failing to slow down and pay attention in areas of heavy foot traffic.
Contact an experienced attorney if you were hit by a car
If you or a loved one was injured after getting hit by a car being operated by a distracted driver, an experienced attorney can fight for the compensation you deserve. Attorney David J. Glatthorn is committed to holding drivers accountable when their actions cause someone's injury or death. He is also committed to helping crash victims and their families recover every dollar they're owed in damages. This often includes:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental and emotional trauma
- Wrongful death damages