Why Are There So Many Fatal Pedestrian Accidents in the U.S.?

kids crossing a street before a potential pedestrian car accident

In South Florida, many of us choose to get where we’re going by walking, especially if our destination is just around the corner. After all, who doesn’t enjoy the Florida sunshine? Add tourists on top of that, and Miami is chock full of pedestrians, out and about heading to shops, restaurants, the beach and other great destinations.

Though walking provides great exercise and saves on gas, it does come at a cost. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 6,227 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents across the country in 2018. This was the highest number of pedestrian traffic deaths in almost 30 years. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of these deaths occurred in major cities.

There are any number of reasons why we may be at a 30-year high for pedestrian deaths. No matter the reason, it’s important for those living in and visiting Miami to know who they can turn to if they have been hit by a vehicle while they’re crossing the road. At Steinger, Greene & Feiner, our experienced attorneys have recovered over $1 BILLION on behalf of our clients. Call us at 800-560-5059 or contact us online today to speak with a car accident lawyer in Miami today.

Why Are Pedestrian Accidents Up?

There are many different reasons why pedestrian accidents are on the rise across the country. One reason, especially in smaller communities, is the lack of convenient crosswalks in the area. Research shows that most people will only walk about 300 feet to the nearest crosswalk. So when crosswalks are a bit of a walk away, pedestrians are more likely to jaywalk. While there are plenty of crosswalks in Miami, jaywalking is still a major issue — especially since there are no laws regarding jaywalking in Florida.

Another reason for the rise of pedestrian deaths is the vehicles Americans are driving nowadays. Since 2013, the buying of light trucks and SUVs has outpaced the buying of cars. When a pedestrian is hit by one of these larger vehicles, they are more likely to die than if they were hit by a smaller car.

The rise in smartphone use has also corresponded with the rise in pedestrian fatalities. When pedestrians use their phones when they’re walking, they’re much less likely to notice their surroundings — including oncoming vehicles. Similarly, drivers who are distracted by their phones are less likely to see pedestrians crossing the street. A new law was passed in hopes of stemming distracted driving, but the effects of this law remain to be seen.

A final cause in the rise of pedestrian accidents that many people overlook is climate change. Though climate change is under some debate, trends show that average temperatures have steadily risen over the past few decades. Warmer weather means more people spend time outdoors walking and on their bikes. With more pedestrians on the road, the number of pedestrian deaths naturally rises. In fact, traffic fatalities increase nearly 10 percent on warm days, and many of those deaths are pedestrians.

How to Avoid Being the Victim of a Pedestrian Accident

While pedestrians are often not to blame for being hit by a car, there are a few ways you can avoid being the victim of a pedestrian accident:

  • Use crosswalks as often as possible, and only cross when you get the right signal.
  • If you can’t find a crosswalk or there’s no cross signal, be sure to check both ways many times before you cross the road.
  • If you’re walking in the road, walk against traffic as close to the side of the road as possible to make sure drivers can see and avoid you.
  • Always use sidewalks if they’re available, unless the road is closed off to vehicle traffic.
  • If you’re walking at night, wear bright, reflective clothing. Carry a flashlight, or have your phone flashlight on so drivers can see you easily.

Speak to a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Miami Today

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, or if your loved one has been killed in this sort of incident, you have legal rights. At Steinger, Greene & Feiner, we’re always here to help you get the full compensation you deserve. We always offer free, no-obligation consultations, during which we’ll explore all of your legal options.

Call us at 800-560-5059 or contact us online to speak with a Miami pedestrian accident attorney today.

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