Updated: January 28, 2019
According to a report released in January 2019 by the advocacy group, Smart Growth America, the Tampa Bay Area and several other cities in Florida made the top ten most dangerous areas in America to be a pedestrian. This report, unfortunately, corroborates and adds validity to the report previously drafted by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association back in 2018. One of the most shocking statistics in the report was that while Tampa Bay’s overall rank dropped from seventh to ninth since the last report in 2016, the number of pedestrian deaths actually increased during that same time period.
There is an argument related to these statistics being related to the design of pedestrian thoroughfares. In other words, the design of our pedestrian pathways contributes to the dangerousness for pedestrians in Florida. Another factor which bears discussing is Florida’s weather. There is simply more opportunity for pedestrians to be outside. While we are lucky not to have problems with snow, it should be expected that the incident of pedestrian injury and/or death would increase based upon the sheer number of days that are able to be utilized by pedestrians in the entire State of Florida.
Many municipalities, including St. Petersburg and the Tampa areas, have committed to attempting to eradicate pedestrian and bicyclist deaths. This is certainly a tall task, but as referenced in Attorney Jonathon Douglas’ article in 2018, St. Petersburg is making inroads to addressing pedestrian and bicycle safety. With regard to bicycle safety, St. Petersburg has committed to a 20-year goal which adds miles of bike lanes, trails, and markings, as well as about 90 pedestrian designed crossings to city streets in an effort to effectuate pedestrian/bicycle safety. While some people were resistant to the idea of increasing bicycle lanes while narrowing or reducing the number of vehicular traffic lanes, only time will tell whether these initiatives have any impact on the area’s devastating pedestrian and bicyclist injury and death rate.
While it is undisputed that everyone would like to have safer streets and pedestrian walkways, it seems as if government officials are taking a limited approach by attempting to increase safety precautions. Implementing an education component both from an automobile operator standpoint and bicycle/pedestrian safety standpoint will likely be necessary if the Tampa Bay area wishes to achieve its goal of zero fatalities related to bicycle and pedestrian incidents. Initiatives at the school level for pedestrian/bicycle safety would be a good place to start. Additionally, Driver’s Education regarding pedestrian/bicyclist awareness should be bolstered.
The recent report continues to illustrate that St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay Area have significant pedestrian/bicycle safety issues. If you or a loved one has been a victim of an accident involving a negligent motor vehicle while walking or riding a bicycle, please contact St Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas immediately to allow our team of professionals to take the necessary steps towards getting you the help and justice you deserve.
Pedestrian deaths in Florida are on a drastic and scary rise. According to a recent Governor’s Highway Safety Association report, Florida has the second highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in the country. Shockingly, there was an 11% increase in pedestrian fatalities from 2015 to 2016 alone. As bad as it sounds, this shouldn’t be a surprise to residents of Tampa Bay. It seems almost daily there is a story in our news about someone killed or seriously injured on our roads.
So, what is going on? Although dangerous road designs are a factor, that alone should not be causing the accident spike. Some other factors that have contributed to the problem are increased traffic, a better economy, lower gas prices, and more people walking for exercise. Finally, distracted drivers looking at their phones appears to be the most obvious answer to the increased accident rate.
There are certainly ways to be safer as a pedestrian. According to the report, 34% of all pedestrians killed had a blood alcohol level of over the legal driving limit of .08. So, many pedestrians are clearly making poor choices or slow to react due to the effects of alcohol. Pedestrians also can be distracted just like drivers by looking at their phones or hampering their ability to hear oncoming traffic by using headphones.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have been involved in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, then you should take the proper measures to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact St Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas today and speak with an attorney. For over 60 years our firm has been successfully helping people who have been injured due to someone else’s carelessness. We have been nationally ranked for decades by US News and World Reports as a Tier 1 law firm, which is the highest ranking that can be received. Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas have dedicated their careers to continuing the firms legacy of superior legal representation.
Remember that we never charge a fee, unless we win. Call us today at 727-381-2300 so that we may answer your questions, help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims, and recover the compensation that you deserve.
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St Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas
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St. Petersburg, FL 33707