It isn’t shocking to learn most fatal pedestrian accidents in Pinellas County, Florida, have been at night. It is surprising to learn they have happened to people walking alongside a roadway with illumination or to someone attempting to cross one of these same roads. In fact, data from 2015 reveals these crashes accounted for sixty five percent (65%) of the pedestrian fatalities. That is an amazing number which represents shocking and unnecessary human suffering.
What are Some of the Factors Responsible for These Fatal Pedestrian Accidents?
It has been proven in the bicycle world that cyclists underestimate their visibility to drivers by a factor of 700%. They mistakenly believe they are seven times more visible to oncoming drivers than they actually are. The same is true for pedestrians who frequently assume an approaching vehicle has seen them.
Compounding the issue of visibility is the assumption by the pedestrian that an approaching vehicle will slow or take evasive action to avoid them. They can’t imagine otherwise.
It is very difficult to estimate the speed of an oncoming vehicle, especially at night when only its headlights are visible. This means the vehicle may be coming much more quickly than expected.
Couple this issue with those who are unable to walk quickly, particularly children, the elderly and those impaired physically and they become exposed to being struck by the approaching car, truck or SUV.
Unlike cyclists, pedestrians rarely make a conscious effort to dress so as to be highly visible to oncoming drivers. Naturally, no one thinks that way. Consequently, they are not typically wearing bright, reflective or high visibility clothing. Although they don’t realize it, they are just not easily seen against the visual clutter encountered by drivers, especially at night.
Finally, pedestrians sometimes make mistakes. They become impatient and cross where they are not permitted. They believe they can make it safely and don’t wait. Sometimes they are distracted by focusing on where they are headed rather than on approaching traffic.
How Florida Drivers are Causing Pedestrian Collisions
Drivers have their own issues. The vehicle being operated by a driver is a dangerous instrumentality. It is capable of causing death or great bodily harm. Drivers have a legal responsibility (lawyers refer to this as a duty):
- To control their vehicle.
- To drive safely within the range of their headlights.
- To pay close attention to the road ahead.
- To drive within the speed limit (or slower if conditions require it).
- To be attentive at all times.
Despite this, drivers speed, they weave through traffic, they drive while under the influence of alcohol and they are frequently distracted by their devices or talking to someone in the car. This is a deadly mix.
Are the police suggesting you or your loved one was partially, or even completely, at fault in causing the collision. If so, remember the police do not have the final say about why a crash occurred. Their conclusions are not admissible in court in your civil case. Further, the police are often rushed to form their judgments and are frequently mistaken in their conclusions. Because they do not evaluate a crash the way a lawyer is trained to do, they rarely consider the comparative fault of the other party. You should always discuss your case with an experienced Clearwater Pedestrian injury attorney.
Do You Need Help From a Clearwater Pedestrian Injury Attorney?
If you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian crash or you have been seriously injured, you may be overwhelmed by the questions and decisions you face. You may be wondering how the medical bills will be paid or what the future holds. We believe you should be able to focus on your grief or your recovery without the immense burden of dealing with all the “what ifs.” Our clients constantly express the relief they feel when they turn over the legal and medical issues to us so they can focus on their grieving or physical recovery. If you are wondering where to turn for help, we suggest you read reviews written by our past clients.
Attorney Jim Dodson has been successfully handling pedestrian accident cases for over 25 years. He can advise you about the details of your case that will help you obtain the compensation your family deserves. For help and to have your questions answered, call us directly at 727-446-0840 or fill out our online form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.