Jacksonville is the 6th deadliest city in the nation for pedestrians, with Florida being the deadliest state, according to a new report by the National Complete Streets Coalition. We live in a growing community, and in expanding communities, there is a lot of traffic.
Unfortunately, with growth comes the growing concerns for our safety. Traffic crashes don’t just involve a car versus another car or truck. Every day it seems that we turn on the news and learn of another pedestrian or cyclists being hit and killed on our streets. These tragic deaths are completely avoidable. Drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians have an obligation to follow the rules of the road.
In high foot traffic areas, such as downtown streets, areas with parks or recreation, and school zones, drivers must pay careful attention and be ready to stop for crossing pedestrians. In 2018 alone, it was determined that about 6,227 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States. This number is a 4% increase from 2017 and marks the highest mortality rate in almost 30 years.
Don’t allow yourself to be distracted from the road and the people in front of you. It only takes a second of distraction for tragedy to occur. Remember: no phone call, text message, or song on the radio is more important than getting where you are going safely and without hurting anyone else. You can’t drive safely unless your full attention is devoted to the task of driving.
Whether you’re walking your dog, on the way to work, or exercising, the dangers of being on foot have been dangerously increasing. In a report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, pedestrian deaths have risen 35% since 2008. Now, pedestrian deaths have reached the highest level in decades.
If the traffic signal at the crosswalk tells you not to walk, then don’t walk. While the signal is telling you to stop and not continue walking, it usually means the cross traffic has a green light and isn’t expecting you to be in the street. When the light tells you to walk, you should always look both ways before you cross the street and keep your eyes focused on where you are going and not looking down at your phone. You need to be alert because distracted drivers may not stop for the red light in front of them. “Distracted driving” has always been an issue, but the problem of “distracted walking” is a real, growing danger.
Drivers aren’t always looking for runners and cyclists. If the drivers are distracted, they won’t see you. We understand how focused you can get while running or how in the zone you can get when you’re really hitting your stride, but if you are running or biking, make sure you know the rules of the road and how to keep yourself safe:
– If you are running on the shoulder, make sure you run against traffic
– If you are cycling, make sure you ride with traffic
– Always pay attention to the traffic surrounding you
– Always wear reflective clothing and lights if it’s dark outside
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Coker Law wants everyone to be safe on the roadways. If you need any driving tips or want to learn more about how Coker Law is working to ensure that everyone is safe on the roadways all the way from the car seat to the driver seat, click here to check out our Safer Streets Through Smarter Drivers Initiative.
If you are injured by a negligent driver, whether you were in a vehicle, on a bike, or as a pedestrian, you want to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. You may qualify to receive compensation for your medical bills, your past and future pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injuries. To speak with a Coker Law attorney, or for more information, call (904) 299-0808 or click here to schedule a free consultation.