Each year more than one million people die in traffic accidents worldwide. Pedestrians account for more than a third of all traffic fatalities. Dr. Motao Zhu, is an assistant professor at the Epidemiology and Injury Control Research Center at the West Virginia University School of Public Health. He just released a study that shows that men are 2.3 times more likely to get killed in a pedestrian accident than women. Why?
According to Dr. Zhu, men are more likely to cross streets with high speed limits, and more likely to be impaired by alcohol and drugs. He recently told the New York Times, that “most people know it’s not safe to drive drunk, but it’s not safe to walk drunk either.”
Our Miami lawyers have investigated thousands of pedestrian accident cases across Florida over the last twenty years. Nearly every case involves a male victim who was not using a designated crosswalk. More than 75% of fatal pedestrian accidents happen at night with the victim wearing dark clothing. And unfortunately, many of victims and/or drivers were also intoxicated. We have also found an alarming number of pedestrian accident victims were hit while crossing the street while texting or talking on a cellphone.
Florida’s pedestrians are governed by Florida Statute Section 316.130. It requires that people crossing the street follow and obey the same traffic signals as though they are driving a car or truck. Many people who get hit crossing the street in Florida mistakenly believed that pedestrians have the right-of-way over vehicles. This is not true. Actually, unless the person crosses at a marked crosswalk, pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles.
We want you to avoid becoming a Florida pedestrian accident statistic and recommend the following safety tips:
1. Use the Crosswalk. It may take you a few extra minutes to walk to the end of the block to use a crosswalk, but it could save your life.
2. Use the Sidewalk. Whenever possible use the sidewalk rather than walking in the roadway.
3. Walk Facing Traffic. If there is no sidewalk walk on the shoulder facing traffic.
4. Walk Don’t Chat or Text . Avoid talking on cellphones or texting while crossing the road. Texting can distract pedestrians just like drivers. Even a momentary distraction can be fatal.