Pinellas County, along with the entire Tampa Bay metropolitan area, has one of the nation's highest rates of pedestrian accidents. One of the main reasons for the high numbers is that we simply have more pedestrians, according to an article by Alexandra Lundahl that appeared in TBNWeekly.com.
Because our weather is mild year-round, we have 12 months when people are out there enjoying a stroll or a bike ride.
Not only that, Pinellas County is much more densely populated than most of the United States. It is the densest county in the entire state of Florida, with more than twice the density of Broward County, which is second. And added to that, we have a huge influx of snowbirds and tourists who come south during the winter season to escape the cold climates of the northern United States and Canada, causing our population density to swell even further.
These factors create more pedestrians and cyclists along with more motorists, and most of our roads are designed with the motorists in mind. The "car culture" in the state has not been conducive to pedestrian safety. Many of Florida's roads are high-speed arterial highways, designed to get cars where they're going as fast as possible with the fewest possible stops for crossing pedestrians.
Pedestrian error is also a major cause of accidents. Pedestrians fail to push buttons to activate crossing signals, or they push them and fail to wait for the "walk" signal to appear. Sometimes they can't be bothered to take the time to walk to a crosswalk and attempt to cross high-speed roads at improper locations. And finally, pedestrian accidents occur when pedestrians and drivers are impaired by alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications.
Engineering and education combined are needed to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents. Drivers need to understand that the law requires them to yield to pedestrians, and pedestrians need to understand the importance of using the signals properly, crossing at correct locations, and exercising caution when entering the roadway.
A pedestrian or cyclist injured as a result of driver error is often able to receive money as compensation for accident-related injuries and losses. If you were injured as a pedestrian or a family member was killed attempting to cross the road because of a driver's carelessness, talk to attorney Jim Dodson for information on how to proceed. Jim has been helping accident victims in Florida recover compensation for more than 25 years.