On January 24, 2023, WEAR news reported on yet another pedestrian accident in Escambia County: “1 Hospitalized after pedestrian accident in Escambia County” (https://weartv.com/news/local/1-hospitalized-after-pedestrian-accident-in-escambia-county). In 2022, there were 118 pedestrian crashes and 14 pedestrian fatalities in Escambia County (FLHSMV Crash Dashboard). Statewide, there were 9,942 pedestrian crashes and 755 pedestrian fatalities (FLHSMV Crash Dashboard). Because pedestrians are vulnerable on roadways, finding ways to prevent these accidents and deaths is important for both drivers and pedestrians.
What are the Risk Factors?
According to the CDC, alcohol was a factor for the driver and/or pedestrian in “nearly half (46%) of crashes that resulted in pedestrian death in 2019.” Higher driver speeds, time of day, and location are also factors. Pedestrians crossing away from intersections and walking the roadways at night both increase the odds of being involved in a pedestrian fatality.
What can we do?
- Look out for pedestrians. Look for pedestrians as you back up, make turns, and approach intersections. Be vigilant around school zones, parks, and neighborhoods.
- Follow the law regarding crosswalks—stop for pedestrians at crosswalks and do not pass vehicles who are stopped for pedestrians on crosswalks.
- Slow down. According to the NHTSA, “[l]ower speeds are one of the most important factors in pedestrian crash survivability.”
- Avoid distractions whether it be a cell phone, passenger, snack, or pet.
- When walking at night, wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight. During the day, wear light-colored clothing.
- Use crosswalks or cross at intersections. Walk on sidewalks if possible. If a path or sidewalk isn’t available, walk on the shoulder facing traffic.
- Stay aware of surroundings and avoid wearing headphones or texting while walking.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs while walking near roadways: “An estimated 47% of fatal pedestrian crashes in 2020 involved a pedestrian who was drunk” (Pedestrian Safety, NHTSA).
- Distracted drivers are a reality. Make eye contact with drivers to make sure they see you.
With these commonsense measures, we can help prevent pedestrian accidents and make our community a safer place to travel.
Phil Hall, P.A. has represented clients who have been hit by distracted drivers, and we have the experience needed for handling pedestrian accident cases. If you have questions about your or a loved one’s pedestrian accident case, contact Phil Hall, P.A. at https://www.askalawyerfirst.com/contact/. Our team can guide you step by step on what you need to do after being involved in a pedestrian accident.
We handle pedestrian accident cases in Pensacola and surrounding Northwest Florida community.