When there’s nothing standing between you and a two-ton motor vehicle, even a low-speed collision can end in broken bones, brain injury or death. It might be due to the rise in distracted driving, but pedestrian accidents are increasing across the country. Nationwide, over 6,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2018, a 3.4% increase over the number of deaths in the previous year and the highest number in the past 30 years. In the highly populated, sunny state of Florida, pedestrian accidents account for more than 6,000 injuries a year, many of them fatal.
Drivers owe a duty of care to all others on the road, including other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. When pedestrian accidents occur in Broward County communities like Hollywood, Deerfield Beach or Pompano Beach, the personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of David Benenfeld in Sunrise offer compassionate advice and aggressive representation to help accident victims and their families get medical care and compensation for the harm done to them. Learn more below about pedestrian accidents and how to avoid them, and call lawyer David Benenfeld for immediate assistance after a Broward County pedestrian accident.
How to avoid causing (or being hurt in) a pedestrian accident
Motorists and pedestrians alike should be mindful of these most common reasons for pedestrian accidents when they are out on the road. Vigilance from both pedestrians and drivers may help prevent serious injury or death in a pedestrian accident that might otherwise be avoided.
Be careful passing other vehicles – When a car or bus up ahead has stopped, a common driver reaction is to immediately whip around that vehicle, rather than slowing or stopping. The very reason that the car is stopped might be to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the street, and passing that vehicle could put you directly in the pedestrian’s path. If a bus is stopped, it is likely boarding or off-loading passengers, and you can’t clearly see if anyone might be walking in front of the bus.
Don’t dart out into the street – A pedestrian, especially a child, might not think before darting out into the street, or they may have the right-of-way or misjudge the speed of an oncoming vehicle. It’s important for pedestrians to obey traffic signals and only cross when it seems safe to do so. Drivers need to always be on the lookout for pedestrians on residential or city streets.
Take care when backing up – Most cars don’t have external back-up alarms like commercial vehicles do, and a car backing out of a driveway, alleyway or parking lot can take a pedestrian by surprise. Drivers backing out across sidewalks need to double-check their mirrors and blind spots to make sure children or others are not walking by.
Where there’s ice cream, there’s a child – It should be a no-brainer to slow and watch for children when an ice cream truck is in the vicinity. Other food trucks as well are likely to attract foot traffic, including people crossing the street or walking out in front of the truck. These pedestrians may have their mind and their eyes on their food and not be as diligent as they should for oncoming vehicles. Drivers should be aware of the likely presence of pedestrians around ice cream trucks, food trucks and commercial delivery vehicles.
Intersections are where it’s at – Designated crosswalks are the legal and preferred place for pedestrians to get across the street, and they are also the place where most pedestrian accidents happen. Pedestrians may be careless when crossing and enter the intersection when the signal has already started warning them not to cross. Drivers trying to beat a light may encounter a pedestrian stepping off the curb. Drivers making left and right turns need to be vigilant for the presence of pedestrians and wait patiently until the pedestrian is off the street or at least on the other half of the roadway.
Pedestrians are at the mercy of hit-and-run drivers
Pedestrians are frequently the target of hit-and-run accidents, possibly because the drivers know they have a good chance of getting away and not getting caught. Across the country, 65% of hit-and-run victims are pedestrians or bicyclists, neither of which would be in a condition to chase after a fleeing driver. Florida, sadly, has one of the highest rates of fatal hit-and-run accidents in the country. As an injured pedestrian, you may have access to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage from a household automobile, or uninsured motorist (UM) coverage if the hit-and-run driver can’t be found. The Law Offices of David Benenfeld can help track down the driver or explore other options with you for help with your injuries.
Get the Care and Compensation You Need and Deserve After a South Florida Pedestrian Accident
For help after a pedestrian accident in Broward, Miami-Dade or Palm Beach County, call The Law Offices of David Benenfeld for a free consultation at 954-807-1334. We maintain offices in Sunrise, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, and we can come to you if your injuries prevent you from leaving home or the hospital.