Walking and riding a bike should be good for a person’s health, not dangerous. Being a pedestrian is actually a lot more dangerous than you might think. Your risk of dying while on foot or bicycle is actually higher now than it was just a few years ago. Sadly, fatal pedestrian accidents are becoming more and more common.
It is important to understand that experts do not always agree on things. This is because there are lots of different factors that affect traffic trends. But understanding some of the possible reasons for pedestrian deaths can help keep you safe.
New vehicles are not always safer
Improved vehicle designs have made drivers and passengers much safer than they were in the past, but those designs are not doing anything to help pedestrians. For example, pickup trucks and SUVs are heavier and have higher front ends than they did in the past. These vehicles are much more likely to be involved in fatal accidents with pedestrians and bicycle riders.
Aside from new designs, manufacturers are also eager to advertise safety features like crash avoidance systems. However, vehicle companies tend to oversell how effective these features actually are. A lot of drivers in Florida rely on these features without understanding that they are not 100% reliable. Features function even worse at night when pedestrians are harder to see.
Nighttime is dangerous for pedestrians
Motor vehicles killed 6,482 pedestrians in 2018, 3.4% more than in 2017. Of those, most of the new pedestrian deaths happened between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Poor lighting conditions could be a problem, especially since people are working more night shifts than in 2010. Leaving work at night without much lighting is dangerous, but there is not much that people can do about this.
Some experts think that more people are walking and cycling than in the past, which is why there are more deaths. Federal highway safety data does not back up this claim, since the number of pedestrians and people riding bikes has not really changed. Factors that people tend to agree on include things like:
- Increase in reckless driving
- Poor road designs
- Lack of sidewalks, crosswalks and more
Pedestrians deserve better
Whether you walk because you have to or because you enjoy it, you should be able to travel on foot without worrying about your safety. This is sadly not the reality that you and many other people in Florida are currently facing. A pedestrian death may have even already affected you.
Your loved one’s death was a tragic event. Now, on top of grieving, your family is also struggling to manage the burden of emotional and financial damages, for which you were probably not prepared. Fatal pedestrian accidents put many families in this exact situation. Like these other families, you might be interested in finding out how you can get compensation and sense of justice for your loved one. You should speak with an experienced Florida attorney who can guide you through the process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit.