The sunny, warm weather in Florida beckons many residents to take an early morning walk or enjoy an evening stroll near the beach. Unfortunately, any time a pedestrian takes a walk in Florida, they face a risk of a car hitting them. In fact, Florida ranks at the top of all other states for being deadly for pedestrians.
From 2010 to 2019, 5,893 pedestrians died in vehicle accidents in Florida, more than in any other state according to Smart Growth America. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area ranked 13th nationwide as most dangerous for pedestrians between 2009-2019. The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metro ranked first and Daytona Beach area ranked fifth.
When vehicles hit pedestrians
When a vehicle hits a pedestrian, a pedestrian is more likely to suffer serious injuries or death, especially if the vehicle is a large SUV or pickup truck. The larger a vehicle is, the more it weighs and the more force is involved in a crash. The force of a large SUV or truck easily can kill a pedestrian crossing a road.
Some of the more serious injuries a pedestrian may sustain in a crash include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Accidental amputations
- Dislocations, sprains
- Psychological trauma
When and where pedestrian accidents occur
Pedestrian accidents are more common in urban areas, where 81.1% of pedestrian fatalities occur. About 23.3% of pedestrian accidents occur at intersections and 79.72% of pedestrian accidents occur during dark hours. Also, pedestrian accidents are most common on Fridays and Saturdays, when more people are likely to be out, especially in urban areas.
Pedestrian safety tips
If you often enjoy walking, either as a way to exercise or get from place to place, you can practice these safety tips to stay safer as a pedestrian:
- Wear bright, reflective clothing.
- Cross streets at intersections and crosswalks whenever possible.
- Always be aware of your surroundings, watching for oncoming vehicles. Don’t let your phone or listening to music distract you, especially when crossing the street.
- When crossing a street, try to make eye contact with drivers, so you know they see you.
- Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots.
When you go out for a walk, you have to take precautions. You don’t want to be hit by a vehicle and either lose your life or suffer devastating injuries. You want to do all you can to ensure your safety. Then you can enjoy another walk in the near future.