We know that walking or biking is good for our health, everyone from your doctor to the Office of the Surgeon General encourages us to walk for physical fitness and to combat chronic disease. However, in the decade from 2003 through 2012, more than 47,000 people died while walking on our streets. That is 16 times the number of people who died in natural disasters during the same ten years. In 2012, pedestrians accounted for nearly 15 percent of all traffic deaths, representing a five-year high.
Jacksonville remains one of America’s most dangerous communities for pedestrians, according to a report by the National Complete Streets Coalition, an organization that includes AARP and the planning group Smart Growth America that promotes changes in street design. The city’s metropolitan area ranked fourth-worst nationally on a “pedestrian danger index”. According to the coalition, Florida had eight of the 10 most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians.
More than half of all pedestrian fatalities occur on arterials, and over 60 percent of these tragedies occur on roads with speed limits of 40 mph or higher. These roads were not planned or designed for more than speeding traffic. Just as we plan and design our communities to protect us from natural disaster, we can and should plan and design our communities to keep pedestrians safe. Physical separations such as overpasses, underpasses, and barriers can reduce the problem. Increased lighting and improved signal timing at intersections also can be effective. Because traffic speeds affect the risk and severity of pedestrian crashes, reducing speeds can reduce pedestrian deaths. When streets are designed to be safer for people on foot, we get streets that are better for everyone, whether we are driving a car or truck, riding a bicycle, or taking public transit. For a complete review of Florida Law (316.130) pertaining to pedestrian safety click here.
Vehicle factors are important too, because the most serious injuries often result from pedestrians being thrown onto the hoods, windshields, or tops of vehicles. Serious head, pelvis, and leg injuries are common, and the severity of such injuries could be mitigated by improving vehicle designs and changing materials.
When pedestrians are injured by cars and trucks or other motor vehicles, the attorneys at Coker Law have the experience, skills and resources to take action against the drivers of those vehicles that cause these injuries. Unlike insurance companies that look only to protect their own interests, our firm is dedicated to doing what is right. Our legal team will thoroughly investigate the crash, examine and preserve the evidence, obtain witness statements, and take the steps necessary to overcome the insurance company’s tactics. Coker Law is ready to help you obtain justice.
Coker Law cautions pedestrians, cyclists and drivers to use the roadways carefully. If you are injured by a negligent driver, 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) 356-6071 or click here to schedule a free consultation.