More than 100 people were killed walking in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties in 2017, according to state data. In addition, 22 bicyclists died last year on Tampa Bay roadways. Several studies routinely rate Florida’s metropolitan areas, including Tampa Bay, as the most unsafe state for pedestrians and bicyclists on roadways.
Back in 2016, the seven most dangerous metro communities for pedestrians were all in the Sunshine State, according to the annual Dangerous by Design report released by Smart Growth America. That included the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area, which was ranked seventh with 821 pedestrians killed over a 10-year period through 2014. Many car vs. pedestrian accident occur when a pedestrian attempts to cross highways.
When injured by a vehicle, a pedestrian may recover damages for the injuries suffered if the driver’s negligence caused or contributed to the accident. Negligence is the failure to do (or not do) something that a reasonable person in a similar situation would do. Drivers have a duty to drive safely and to avoid hitting pedestrians and bicyclists.
Usually, pedestrian-vehicle accident cases hinge on the duty of care owed by those involved. Both drivers and pedestrians must follow the rules of the road and exercise reasonable care.
What is a “Driver’s Duty of Care”? Generally, drivers must exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. Failure to do so is considered negligence. A few of the most common factors contributing to driver negligence are:
- Distracted driving
- Failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks
- Disobeying traffic signs or signals
- Failing to signal while turning
- Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while using a cell phone or other device
What is a “Pedestrian’s Duty of Care”? A pedestrian must exercise reasonable care for his or her own safety.
A few of the most common factors contributing to pedestrian negligence are:
- Ignoring the “walk” signal at an intersection
- Entering traffic and disrupt the flow
- Failing to use marked crosswalks
- Darting in front of a vehicle
People who may be legally responsible for your injuries might try to blame you for the accident, by claiming that your own negligence caused the accident. If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, you should do the following:
- Call the police immediately
- Don’t leave the scene of the accident before help arrives
- Gather names and phone numbers of any witnesses
- Don’t make any statements to anyone, including drivers and insurers until you’ve spoken with an attorney
Attorney Chelsie M. Lamie is a personal injury attorney located in Safety Harbor, Florida. Please call 727-501-3464 for a free consultation. You can also learn more about Attorney Lamie at www.chelsielamie.com.