We have all been told by our mothers to look both ways when crossing the street. But sometimes, even mom’s helpful advice is not enough–especially if you live in Florida. The Sunshine State ranks second in the nation to California in pedestrian fatalities. But when you consider California has nearly twice as many people, Florida actually leads the nation in crosswalk accidents per capita. It is a troubling trend that does not seem to be getting better. In addition to the fatalities, countless more pedestrians are injured crosswalk accidents. So makes Florida the crosswalk accident capital of the United States? Here are some contributing factors.
- Climate:Florida is not known as the Sunshine State by accident. Unlike people in most states, Floridians enjoy warm weather all year long. It allows us to enjoy participating in sports and outdoor activities, such as running, walking and bike riding. But living in paradise also has its price. Pedestrians and motorists must constantly be aware of each other. In far too many cases, crosswalk accidents in Florida will occur due to the negligence of others, such as distracted or impaired driving.
- Visitors: Florida’s tourism industry brings in a huge influx of people from throughout the world. Many tourists and visitors are often unfamiliar with our streets and even the rules of the road. International tourists may have a language barrier and cannot understand street signs. The combination of careless and speeding drivers can also have a major impact in the rise of crosswalk accidents.
- Lack of Cell Phone Laws: Floridians love their cell phones. It does not take long to see drivers either talking on their phones or playing games like Pokemon GO and texting. Florida is also one of the few states without a ban on handheld phones for drivers. The use of cell phones by motorists is the leading cause of distracted driving. When used near intersections and crosswalks, the results can become deadly.
- Poor Driving Habits: While it is easy to blame cell phone use for the huge numbers in crosswalk accidents in Florida, poor driving habits are also a major contributing factor. Too many drivers are speeding or recklessly disobeying traffic signs and signals. While many cities have placed cameras at traffic lights, it hasn’t necessarily decreased the amount of crosswalk accidents in Florida.
- Pedestrians Also Deserve Blame: Not all crosswalk accidents in Florida are the fault of drivers. Pedestrians also have a responsibility to obey the basic traffic rules. Many people scoff at citations for jaywalking. But there is a reason crosswalks exist. Cell phones are not just bad for drivers. Many pedestrians are too busy checking their phones rather than paying attention to the road.
If you have been injured in a crosswalk accident in Miami, make sure to seek medical attention immediately and document your injuries. Even if your injuries seem minor at the time of the accident, they could develop into something worse. After you have received medical attention, contact a personal injury attorney. An experienced and highly trained legal professional can help you recover money need to cover your medical bills, repair along with your pain and suffering. To learn more, schedule a consultation with the Miami personal injury lawyers at Neufeld Kleinberg & Pinkiert, P.A. and schedule a consultation today.