Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

In addition to the well-known dangers associated with distracted driving, Miami car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky wants to pedestrians to be aware of an ever increasing problem; how pedestrians who are distracted while walking, especially along Miami’s busy roadways, are finding themselves in increasingly dangerous positions. Using a cell phone while crossing U.S. 1 or Flagler Street while texting is a distraction which can cause pedestrians to walk right into the path of a vehicle and become serious injured in a car accident.

Our roads in Miami and Fort Lauderdale continually make the dubious list of the American’s most dangerous roads for pedestrians. A recent report listed the Palm Beach, Broward, Miami tri-county area as our country’s 4th most dangerous area for pedestrians accidents, with nearly three times the national average for car accidents with pedestrians.

The report also showed that with similar pedestrian dangers in Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville, that Florida is the most dangerous state for pedestrians. Not surprisingly, elderly and young children are involved in the majority of pedestrian car accidents. And of that group, the elderly are the victims of more wrongful deaths due primarily to their fragility. Despite these know findings, Miami’s own public works department found that through Miami Dade County, higher curbs, mis-leved sidewalks and the lack of crosswalks are a prevalent problem for our ever increasing elderly population.

Recommendations to lessen pedestrian involved car accidents include:
▪ Reducing speed limits along roads known to have a high amount of pedestrians;
▪ Widening sidewalks and bike lanes;
▪ Installing more crosswalks along longer blocks;
▪ Building larger medians for pedestrians use while cross wide roads;
▪ Improving crosswalk markings, including adding lighted crosswalks;
▪ Installing more overpasses across wide and busy roads.

While most people know that New Year’s Eve is exceptionally dangerous for those on the road, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Joseph Lipsky wants to make sure his fellow Floridians are aware that being a drunk pedestrian is actually 8xs more dangerous than being a drunk driver.

Sadly, a review of past years wrongful deaths demonstrates that a pedestrian is almost twice as likely to die while walking on New Year’s Day compared to an ordinary non-holiday day. Most of the drunk pedestrian accidents happen when someone attempts to cross an intersection against a stop light, or when they unknowingly jay-walk.

As South Floridians venture out on foot during this holiday season, thinking it is safer than driving, it is important to remember that while wearing basic black looks cool, brighter colored clothes may actually help prevent you from being the victim of a crash. Other common sense suggestions including, walking in a group rather than alone. Of course, taking a cab or using the services of a private riding sharing company can help keep you out of harm’s way.

Regardless of how you intend on celebrating the holiday season, Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer Joseph Lipsky reminds you it’s okay to have fun, so long as you think about how you’re getting to and from your parties before you actually begin to party.

As the holidays are quickly approaching and many parents are looking for fun gifts for their children, Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney Joseph Lipsky reminds his fellow gift givers of the dangers associated with some of the most popular toys. According to the Journal of Clinical Pediatrics, one toy in particular, a kick scooter, is directly responsible for an astounding forty percent rise in child related personal injuries over the past ten years.

While injuries from other gifts, including pretend guns, are also on the rise, injuries caused by falls from these scooters are the most often cited cause of injury. In fact, the number of emergency room visits due to such child toy injuries is almost 200,000 annually. The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s annual report demonstrated that there were over fifty two thousand personal injuries, and sadly one wrongful death, due to scooter related accidents last year.

Due to the steady rise in toy related accidents, especially fractured wrists, there is a renewed push to remind parents and children that wearing a helmet and using wrist guards while riding on a scooter or skateboard should be a requirement. Considering there were more than a quarter million bicycle accident related injuries, helmet use while riding should also be mandatory for children. Also, parents should resist the urge to buy age inappropriate gifts for their children. While we want to see our kids have fun, it is important to make sure that they are both physically and mentally ready for the types of dangerous situations which may arise while using kick scooters.

Personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky wishes his fellow Floridians and their children a safe holiday season and urges everyone to make sure helmet use is mandatory.

Florida personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky reminds everyone that while today is Halloween, a time when our children are excited to show off their newest creative costumes, that safety should be on everyone’s mind tonight. According to the AAA, this evening between 6 and 7 p.m. is the most likely time for car accidents involving pedestrians. As the sun begins to set, drivers need to be particularly attentive to their surroundings. And, parents need to remind their children to look both ways before crossing the street.

Remember, even a slight increase in a car’s speed can have deadly results. In fact, a car going thirty miles per hour is twice as likely to cause a deadly accident as a vehicle traveling 5 M.P.H. slower. And under any circumstances, a brief moment of taking your eyes off the road, acting like a distracted driver to read a text or look at a home’s decorations, can result in a deadly car accident. Considering many costumes are dark colored, drivers need to be particularly attentive in watching out for young trick or treaters.

As for our children, parents should give all kids some sort of light, even a glow stick, to carry as a way of making themselves seen to approaching traffic. Some basic common sense safety precautions and extra attention by drivers can make sure Halloween remains a fun and safe day.

As a personal injury attorney helping injured car accident victims in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Attorney Joseph Lipsky knows too well that Miami-Dade and Broward Counties are extremely dangerous for pedestrians. In fact, according to a recent study by Dangerous by Design, our community is the 4th most dangerous location for pedestrians in the United States. The statistics reveal that pedestrians are 300 times more likely to be injured by a car in South Florida as compared to other areas across the United States.

And, while the officials at FDOT acknowledge the severity of this issue, they have yet to implement any roadway design changes which will make it safe for pedestrians. Sadly, over 47,000 pedestrians were the victims of wrongful death due to being struck by a car over the past decade. And throughout Miami and Fort Lauderdale, there were over 1,500 pedestrian versus vehicle deaths over the same time period.

The study developed a calculation they refer to as the danger index, which compares the probability of a pedestrian being struck by a motor vehicle, as determined by state records, against the number of respondents. While South Florida’s numbers are partially skewed due to our elderly population, given their delayed reaction skills, the prevalence of high speed roads in known pedestrian areas do not help prevent deadly car accidents.

Some of the suggestions to reduce these needless deaths and injuries include building more crosswalks with wider protected sidewalks. Additionally, the Florida Department of Transportation is also trying to identify areas where pedestrians are more prone to being involved in an accident with a car, and is attempting to lower speeds and restrict right hand turns in those areas.

Having helped too many families who have had to endure the pain of losing a loved one who was struck by a car, personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky encourages our local governments to expedite roadway design changes.

Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky knows, having represented hundreds of pedestrians and bicyclist who have been seriously injured by careless motorists, that our local roadways aren’t always meant to be shared. For that reason, we are happy to report that the Broward County commission recently implemented its Complete Streets policy, which requires future roads to be designed with increased safety measures to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents.

Some of the expected roadway improvements will include wider pedestrian and bike lanes, and open medians. According to the recently enacted rules, roads in Broward County will be constructed “to enable safe, convenient, and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities, regardless of their mode of transportation.” This needed trend toward protecting pedestrians follows similarly implemented rules by the Town of Davie and the cities of Sunrise, Pembroke Pines and Hollywood.

In order to facilitate wider bike lanes, car lanes will be narrowed, thereby providing bicyclists with an additional 3 feet of protection. Wider roadway medians will give pedestrians a safe place to wait for traffic to pass, if they are unable to fully cross a street before a light changes color.

Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky certainly believes, that given the active South Florida community, in which many of our fellow residents enjoy walking and bike riding, that these roadway design changes will reduce the number of deadly car versus pedestrian and cyclist accidents.

Having helped injured Floridians who’ve been seriously injured by a car or truck while walking, running or bike riding along a Florida roadway, including US-1, Biscayne Boulevard or Federal Highway, Miami personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky is often asked by friends and acquantances, “which side of the road should I be running along?” to avoid being injured as a pedestrian in a car accident.

Our first answer is always the same, use a sidewalk or path when they are available. Staying out of the road is always the best and safest practice to avoid being the victim of an accident. In fact, a police officer can write you a citation for failing to use an available sidewalk, pursuant to Florida Statute section 316.130, which specifically states “where sidewalks are provided, no pedestrian shall, unless required by the circumstances, walk along and upon the portion of a roadway paved for vehicular traffic.”

And when there is no safe walkway, you should always run or walk, facing traffic, and you will be acting safer and within the law. Exercising while facing traffic gives you the best opportunity to see whatever danger may be approaching, and is the only legal way to walk or run along a street. In fact, Florida Statutes codify that walking facing oncoming traffic is the only legal way a pedestrian may walk along a roadway. Florida Statute Section 316.130(4) requires pedestrians and runners to use the shoulder on the left side of the road in relation to the direction they are moving, so they are facing traffic approaching from the opposite direction.

In addition to using the proper side of the roadway, we urge pedestrians, runners and cyclists to leave their music at home. When you are in a potentially dangerous situation, which is what you are in when you are in close proximity to vehicle traffic, it is always best to be fully alert and aware of your surroundings. Using your common sense, and moving against traffic can help prevent you from being injured in an accident.

Most people know about the role distracted driving plays in causing car accidents, but many people don’t realize that texting or surfing the internet on your smartphone while walking is equally dangerous. A recent study revealed that accidents and injuries to pedestrians using so-called smart phones has doubled in the last seven years. We, as personal injury lawyers who help accident victims in Fort Lauderdale, a community in which many of our fellow residents enjoy taking long walks, were alarmed by the rapid increase in distracted walking accidents.

The study, which appeared in the most recent edition of Accident Analysis and Prevention, was the result of an analysis of accident data reported from hundreds of hospital emergency rooms across the country. Some of the most frequently noted pedestrian smartphone related accidents involved fall down accidents from elevated sidewalks and pedestrians being distracted enough to walk onto roadways.

Not surprisingly, the most frequently injured class of smart phone using pedestrians is made up of people under thirty year of age. That age groups increasing and constant use of social media services, and their instant, need it now, mentality is certainly a contributing reason for their prevalence of injuries and accidents. To try an arrest these distracted walking accidents, many colleges have begun educating students to the dangers of using smart phones while walking. The basic rule, just like those taught about using a smartphone while driving, is before reaching for your phone-stop walking and move out of the way.

Having helped accident victims over the past 20 years, we are often confronted with a defense known as comparative negligence. This means, a defendant and their insurance company can blame an injured client for their conduct in being involved in an accident. Under Florida Law, a jury may apportion fault between everyone involved in an accident. Any fault placed on the injured person will result a commensurate reduction of the damages they are entitled to recover. As such, in order to protect oneself in a lawsuit, and more importantly, to avoid being injured, don’t use your smart phone while walking or riding a bicycle.

As personal injury attorneys helping the victims of car accidents in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and throughout Florida, we too are concerned by a recently released study from the NHTSA which revealed that while wrongful deaths from car accidents continue to drop, pedestrian deaths from roadway accidents rose over the last year. The increase in pedestrian deaths is the first in over 4 years.

The deadly increase has the government stumped. Speculation of reasons for the increase include greater numbers of walkers, either for exercise or due to the economy, along multi-lane roadways, which were constructed to help alleviate traffic, but did not adequately consider pedestrian traffic. Sadly, the three most deadly cities for pedestrians are all in Florida.

Other possible causes for the increase in fatalities include pedestrians also being distracted, just like drivers, by using their smart phones while walking near traffic. And, incredibly almost half of all pedestrian wrongful deaths involved alcohol use by either the pedestrian or the vehicle driver. We urge everyone who is walking or riding a bicycle to be particularly careful of the two ton vehicles traveling around them.

As personal injury attorneys helping injured victims of car accidents throughout Florida, we are happy to report that wrongful deaths from car accidents fell to the record lows last year. According to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles the car accident death rate dropped to 1.25 deaths per 100 million roadway miles traveled.

The statistics indicate that car accident involved wrongful deaths across Florida fell almost 5% over the last year. Unfortunately, last year in Florida almost 2500 people still died in traffic related accidents. And, deaths of pedestrians increased almost 4% during the same time period.

Regardless of the reasons, whether less people are driving due to the economy, or that vehicles are becoming safer, less traffic fatalities are good news.