October is Pedestrian Safety Month
Every October, NHTSA celebrates National Pedestrian Safety Month. States, local leaders, traffic safety professionals, transportation planners and engineers, other stakeholders and concerned residents are invited to join us in helping to create a transportation system for all people to easily and safely walk.
NHTSA is strengthening its efforts to improve safety for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users by suggesting activities and providing sample social media posts and messages, free infographics and other resources. The personal, physical, and environmental benefits of walking can lead to healthier, quieter, cleaner, and safer streets. Walking can also improve local economies and enhance social and community engagement, which can lead to more vibrant, resilient, and livable spaces.
Unfortunately, in 2021 there were 7,388 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes, a 12.5- percent increase from the 6,565 pedestrian fatalities in 2020. This is the highest since 1981 when 7,837 pedestrians died in traffic crashes. In 2021 there were an estimated 60,577 pedestrians injured in traffic crashes, an 11-percent increase from 54,771 pedestrians injured in 2020.
Average Pedestrian Fatalities
On average, a pedestrian was killed every 71 minutes and injured every 9 minutes in traffic crashes in 2021. Please use these materials to increase awareness about how we can combat
2021 REPORTS SHOW THAT ESCAMBIA COUNTY IS AMONG THE TOP 25 FLORIDA COUNTIES FOR PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS.
According to the Journal of Transport and Land Use, Pensacola has been named among the top cities with fatal pedestrian crashes and one of the top cities in the country for fatal pedestrian crash hot spots.
These statistics are no surprise to Zarzaur Law, P.A. Our firm has seen a dramatic increase in calls to our office in regards to accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians. Pedestrian fatalities made up 22% of the total traffic crash-related fatalities throughout Florida in 2021, resulting in 817 deaths.
The most dangerous streets for pedestrians are in Florida, followed by Alabama, New Mexico, Mississippi, and Delaware. Florida has seven of the 10 most dangerous metro areas, with Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford bearing the dubious distinction of being the most dangerous in the US.
Car and truck crashes continue to be a major public safety issue in Pensacola and the rest of Escambia County.
Recent Pedestrian Fatalities In Our Community
As recent as October 25, 2023 A 54-year-old Pensacola man is dead after a pedestrian crash in Escambia County on Wednesday night. The crash happened around 9 p.m. near the intersection of N. Palafox Street and John Gray Road.
The Causes of Pedestrian Accidents:
Many factors are involved in the rising number of pedestrian accidents in Florida. Especially considering the population, the urban design, and the number of people who walk to work, school, beaches, and other places daily. The street culture of Florida also has many people who are running, cycling, skating, or simply walking through busy streets for work, school, and other purposes; and who are most at risk for pedestrian accidents every day.
The causes of these accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Over-speeding on behalf of drivers
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Negligence while driving
- Distracted drivers on cellphones or other in car devices
- Careless pedestrians neglecting public safety
- Breaking traffic rules at intersections and traffic signals by both drivers and pedestrians
- Drivers and pedestrians distracted by cellphones and oblivious to each other could be the cause of this spike in pedestrian injuries and deaths.
SAFETY TIPS FOR PEDESTRIANS
1. Be safe and seen: make yourself visible to drivers.
2. Be smart and alert: avoid dangerous behavior.
– stay sober
– walk on sidewalks
– don’t assume vehicles will stop
– don’t rely solely on pedestrian signals, be alert to engine sounds and backup lights
3. Look before you step!
– look both ways
– don’t wear headphones
– cross streets at marked cross walks
SAFETY TIPS FOR DRIVERS
Be Alert and Watch for Pedestrians:
1. Scan the road and the sides of the road ahead for potential pedestrians or bicyclists.
2. Before making a turn, look in all directions for pedestrians crossing or bicyclists coming up the road.
3. Never drive while distracted or after using alcohol or other drugs.
4. Do not use your cell phone while driving.
5. Look carefully behind your vehicle for approaching pedestrians, especially small children, before backing-up.
6. Keep your windshield clean and your headlights turned on for maximum visibility.
Be Responsible and Yield to Pedestrians at Crossings:
1. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, whether they are marked or not.
2. When making a right or left turn at an intersection, yield to pedestrians.
3. Do not block or park in crosswalks.
4. Be Patient: Maintain a safe speed and avoid aggressive maneuvers.
5. Never pass/overtake a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
6. Follow speed limits and stop completely at STOP signs.
7. Use extra caution when driving near children playing along the street or older pedestrians who may not see or hear you.
8. Be prepared to stop for pedestrians at all times.
Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.
It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.
If you or your family member has been the victim of an auto vs pedestrian accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website.