According t to a 2014 nationwide study known as Dangerous By Design four Florida cities, Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami and our own Tampa are the most dangerous cities in the U.S. for pedestrians. To those familiar with our local roadways, sadly, the study should come as no surprise. The Dangerous by Design study evaluates America’s cities by a “Pedestrian Danger Index” (PDI) that indicates how likely a person is to be hit and killed by a motor vehicle while on foot. The study tracked pedestrian danger from 2003 to 2012 and found that the national average was 52.2. Tampa’s Pedestrian Danger Index was an astounding 190.13 more than three times as dangerous as the national average!.
The question then becomes, why is the problem of pedestrian accidents so significant in Florida and what can be done to improve pedestrian safety? Florida, especially Tampa Bay, is known as a “car-centric” area. Our local roadways and infrastructure is not designed with adequate infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists. The problem is made worse by the motorists that travel at high speeds well above the posted limits and whom are distracted by their cell phones and other smart devices. At many intersections there are inadequate crosswalks, and traffic control devices are set up to move large volumes of motor vehicle traffic leaving little time for pedestrians to cross safely.
Let’s face it, a pedestrian or bicyclist is defenseless against suffering a serious injury or death at the hands of even a slow moving vehicle. With more and more people choosing alternative means of transportation, including biking and walking in place of a traditional motor vehicle, it is time for our government leaders to adopt stricter policies to protect pedestrians.
Getting hit by a motor vehicle while crossing a street or riding a bike puts you at risk for serious injury, and if the driver was impaired or distracted, or neglected to follow traffic safety rules, you may have grounds for a personal injury suit. Speak with the qualified Florida personal injury attorneys at Spinner Law Firm about your options for making a claim for medical and other accident-related expenses.