Pedestrian safety comes up every year in October mostly because of Halloween and the kids have gone back to school. And while the federal government uses National Pedestrian Safety Month to remind people how healthy walking is for people, the fact is that a lot of people are pedestrians not by choice.
It’s got a lot to do with our addiction to the automobile. In the last 50 years, America has paved enough highway mileage to get to the moon and back, while spending comparatively little on mass transportation. Central Florida’s public transportation system seems to keep lagging behind the ever-expanding population.
A recent study on pedestrian safety cited by WESH 2 News identifed Orlando area intersections and roads that had a high number of pedestrian accidents including Columbia Street at Bruton Boulevard and Conroy Road at Vineland. Other dangerous roads for pedestrians included Kirkman Street from L.B. McLeod Road to Conroy Road and Ivy Lane and Malibu Street.
Pedestrian Safety Accident Injuries
A study of pedestrian accidents in Central Florida showed that many pedestrian accidents happen away from designated crosswalks — because they are too few and far between. Most pedestrian crashes happen at night due to poor lighting and pedestrians under the influence failing to yield the right of way at intersections.
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides the following pedestrian safety tips:
- Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available. If one isn’t available, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
- Pay attention and keep alert at all times. Avoid wearing headphones so that you can hear the traffic and pedestrians around you. Never text or look at your cell phone when crossing the street.
- Whenever possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians, and look for cars in all directions, including those turning. If neither are available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely and watch for traffic as you cross.
- Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night. Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.
- Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk. Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can’t see.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see and stop for the crossing pedestrians.
- Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street. Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
- A vehicle approaching a pedestrian legally crossing the street at an intersection must yield or stop to allow the person walking to cross. This applies to bicyclists as well as motor vehicle drivers.
Many pedestrian accidents are the result of negligence and carelessness, such as distracted driving. The consequences can be disastrous. If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, consider the Orlando car accident attorneys at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm. We’ve been assisting accident victims in Central Florida for 35 years. Call 866-506-3449 for a free consultation. Convenient locations throughout Central Florida.