Not everyone gets around Fort Lauderdale by car, and even drivers become pedestrians when they use sidewalks and crosswalks to get to their destinations, such as the park, a beach, or a downtown festival, after parking somewhere nearby.
Unfortunately, year after year, Fort Lauderdale consistently ranks among the deadliest cities in Florida and the United States for people traveling on foot. The city is aware of the problem, which is also an issue nationwide. A Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyer can help you seek compensation.
Pedestrian Accidents Make Up Significant Portion of Traffic Injuries, Deaths
The City of Fort Lauderdale says the city is walkable compared to some others in the state. Still, it acknowledges room for improvement. Zeroing In 2022 is the city’s five-year action plan for reducing injuries and deaths among pedestrians and other road users.
To illustrate the seriousness of the problem, the report highlights Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident statistics for the period between 2012 and 2016, which show:
- Fatal pedestrian crashes made up 49% of fatal traffic crashes in the city.
- Pedestrian crashes causing severe bodily injuries accounted for 46% of all severe bodily injury traffic crashes.
In 2016, nearly 44% of the 32 fatal traffic crashes that year in Fort Lauderdale involved pedestrians. Contributing factors to these crashes included:
- The person’s age
- The time of day when the crash occurred (most occurred at night) and
- Whether victims were under the influence of a substance.
A Persistent Problem
The 2022 SmartGrowth America report also highlights the pedestrian accident problem in South Florida. According to its data, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL area ranks No. 14 of the Top 20 U.S. metros, which it says are significantly more deadly for pedestrians.
Find a Personal Injury Lawyer,
Near Me (855) 529-0269
Fort Lauderdale Isn’t the Only Florida City With Pedestrian Crash Challenges
Traffic accidents involving pedestrians are a problem in other parts of Florida and the U.S. Other Florida cities that rank high in pedestrian deaths include Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and Daytona Beach, among others.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) crash dashboard shows 10,204 pedestrian crashes occurred in Florida in 2022. Nearly 800 people died in these crashes, which caused more than 7,900 injuries. The data also show that 1,027 of these pedestrian crashes occurred in Broward County, and 74 people died.
Where Florida Ranks Nationally in Pedestrian Accidents
According to SmartGrowth America, Florida ranks No. 2 after New Mexico for pedestrian deaths occurring between 2016 and 2020. Additionally, Florida had the second-highest number of pedestrian deaths after California between 2016 and 2020. In that time frame, 3,420 Florida pedestrians suffered fatal injuries.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics in Fort Lauderdale, Florida Reflect National Trends
The problems Florida cities face with pedestrian fatalities are problems for other cities nationwide. Preliminary data from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) shows that between 2020 and 2021, U.S. pedestrian deaths increased by 16% compared to other traffic deaths, which increased by 10%.
While these figures are based on preliminary data, GHSA projects that more than 7,500 people died in traffic crashes in the U.S. in 2022, the highest figure for pedestrian deaths in over 40 years.
What Causes Pedestrian Accidents in Fort Lauderdale?
Pedestrians and drivers can both bear responsibility for causing pedestrian accidents in Fort Lauderdale. Drivers can engage in careless or reckless behavior while traveling to Las Olas Boulevard, the Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale, and other popular downtown areas. These behaviors include:
- Speeding. Drivers who go faster than the posted speed limit increase the risk of hitting pedestrians, especially if they don’t see them in time to avoid hitting them.
- Driving while distracted. Anything that takes one’s attention off the road is a distraction. If a motorist is texting while driving, eating, or talking to other passengers while operating a vehicle, they could fail to see a pedestrian and hit them.
- Driving while drunk or drugged. Motorists operating vehicles under the influence have slower reflexes, so they may not be able to stop in time for someone walking across the street. Some drivers may not know they hit a road user because they are intoxicated.
- Running red lights or failing to heed stop signs. Traffic signals and signs are put in place to protect all road users, whether they are driving or walking. Failing to observe these can result in a driver striking someone traveling on foot.
- Failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. The law requires drivers to stop for pedestrians on crosswalks. When they don’t, a pedestrian accident can happen.
Pedestrians Can Make Errors that Lead to Accidents, Injuries
Florida Statutes § 316.130 outlines how pedestrians are responsible for exercising the proper safety precautions when navigating traffic. For example, they must walk on sidewalks if they are provided and avoid parts of the roadway that vehicles use. They are also supposed to avoid standing on roads where vehicles travel.
Errors pedestrians can make include:
- Not paying attention. If pedestrians do not watch where they are walking, they risk getting injured. This has happened to people who were busy talking on their cell phones when they did not notice the dangerous conditions around them.
- Traveling on foot while under the influence. Alcohol and drug use can impair pedestrians much in the same way they do drivers. These potent substances affect judgment, so pedestrians are at a higher risk of making unsafe decisions. They may not notice inadequate lighting or an area with unmarked crosswalks.
- Not checking for vehicles or other road users. Some pedestrians erroneously think vehicles must stop for them no matter what. Failing to check for oncoming traffic, especially in areas without designated walkways and traffic signals, can be deadly.
Click to contact Chalik & Chalik's personal injury lawyers today
Getting Medical Aid and Legal Help After a Pedestrian Accident in Fort Lauderdale
Pedestrian accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal organ damage. You should receive prompt medical attention if you get hurt in a pedestrian accident.
Getting medical aid soon after an accident ensures you receive the proper treatment that supports your recovery. It also documents that the accident is directly related to your injuries. This can support your case for damages should you take legal action later.
When you are feeling well enough, you can reach out to a pedestrian accident attorney who can explain your legal options for pursuing financial compensation for injuries suffered in a Fort Lauderdale accident.
For a free legal consultation call (855) 529-0269
Call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers After a Fort Lauderdale Pedestrian Accident – Free Consultation
Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident statistics paint a grim picture of the risks of walking throughout the city. We must all practice safety when traveling about. Still, even careful pedestrians can suffer injuries.
If you or a loved one is recovering from injuries in a pedestrian accident that someone else caused, a personal injury lawyer from Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers can represent you. We also represent families whose loved ones suffered fatal injuries in a pedestrian accident. Call us today for a free consultation.
Call or text Chalik & Chalik (855) 529-0269