This semester on the University of Miami campus, two students were involved in major pedestrian accidents, calling to light the issue with safety not only on and around campus, but for pedestrians throughout the city.
The most recent accident involved Matthew Wisehaupt, a junior, who was struck by a vehicle just outside of University Village.
This latest accident has police taking action. Last week, fliers were passed out to commuting students near UV. Police are encouraging pedestrians and cyclists to move with a defensive mindset. Officials encourage anyone commuting outside of a vehicle to do so with a purposeful intent. In other words, pay close attention to your surroundings.
According to law enforcement agencies, South Florida is one of the most dangerous places for pedestrians. Look at people walking and you are bound to see them doing so in a distracted state. Cell phones and other mobile devices can be just as dangerous for pedestrians as they are for drivers.
Police on campus are focusing on hot spots. New crosswalks are being installed, and officials are working closely with campus planners to install further safety features.
Pedestrians involved in accidents with vehicles are encouraged to report them to police, no matter how minor. Statistics are what is used when State officials are determining where to install safety devices and how police agencies determine where to step up enforcement.
Officials provide these tips to help avoid getting into an accident when you are walking or riding your bike in South Florida:
When you bike, where a helmet. You are never too old to wear a helmet, especially if you are riding on the street. If you get into an accident with a car, a helmet could very well save your life.
Stay aware of your surroundings. Avoid the temptation to wear ear buds and listen to music while riding a bike or walking down the street. Keep your cell phone tucked in your pocket. Distracted riding and cycling is dangerous.
Do not assume a driver sees you. Never assume that the driver of a car is aware of your presence. If you do not make eye contact with the driver, you are safer to assume that they do not see you.
Your safety is ultimately up to you. While all accidents are not avoidable, you can take steps to protect yourself to the best of your ability. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian versus vehicle accident, call our offices immediately for assistance.