Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

Florida wins again, but again this definitely not good news to pedestrians. According to a recent study, Florida has the honor of having the greatest rate of pedestrian wrongful deaths from car accidents in America.  Incredibly, pedestrians in Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines and Parkland are four times more likely to die in a car accident than in places like Boston or even New York. And while the study blames pedestrians for being distracted by their phones, being intoxicated and crossing outside of marked crosswalks, more attention is being placed upon the roadways themselves.

Florida’s older roadways, which were not designed for active populations, often times play an integral role in pedestrian accidents. Specifically, pedestrian friendly sidewalks and crosswalks are lacking along many roadways which are shared with cars driving at what used to be considered as highway speeds. Pedestrians seeking to cross roadways usually have to walk great distances to access a crosswalk, often 1000 feet away.  While common sense should cause pedestrians to use those crosswalks, most people cross where they are, rather than walking 1000 feet out of their way.

Those of us who live in more westerly cities, which were originally built decades ago when most of the land was agricultural, know that many roads were built without any adjoining sidewalks. Now as the population has shifted towards the suburbs, many residents now confront dangerous roadway conditions on a daily basis. The Florida Department of Transportation has begun to address our outdated roadways but taking efforts to reduce driver speeds, such as by making narrower vehicle lanes and placing trees closer to the roadways.

Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky reports an unsettling trend about a rapid increase in the number of wrongful deaths involving pedestrians.   The National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations (NHTSA) just issued their latest report of traffic deaths, and sadly they note that the number of pedestrian wrongful deaths rose by almost ten percent last year.  This surprising increase in pedestrian fatalities was the largest in nearly 20 years.

Last year over 5,300 pedestrians died after being struck by a car or truck, an increase of more than 500 from the prior year. This increase was greater than the percentage of all traffic/driver or passenger fatalities, which rose just more than seven percent. Incredibly, Fort Lauderdale was the 6th most dangerous city for pedestrian deaths. This rise in roadway wrongful deaths reversed an almost 10 year drop in the number of annual traffic related fatalities.  In fact, 2014 saw a nearly 10,000 drop in deaths from just 8 years earlier. The rise in pedestrian deaths tied in with a similar rise in wrongful deaths of motorcycle and bicycle riders, of almost five percent over the past 10 years.

While government sponsored safety efforts and rapid increase in vehicle accident prevention technology, have had a beneficial effect upon vehicle occupants, by increasing seat-belt use and lowering the rate of drunk drivers, the same advances and efforts have ignored pedestrian safety.

With the growing talk of self-driving autonomous vehicles, Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky has wondered about the efforts of the companies hoping to sell driverless cares to protect other drivers and pedestrians. Apparently one of those companies, Google, has also been thinking about how to prevent pedestrian car accident personal injuries. Recently, Google received a patent for what can only be described as human fly paper.

Google’s invention is essentially a strong adhesive type tape which will be placed on the front/hood of their vehicles. In the event of a car vs. pedestrian accident, the tape would “hold” the pedestrian onto the hood of the vehicle, preventing them from falling to the roadway.  As many of the injuries pedestrians suffer after being hit by a car happen when that person is thrown onto the road after being hit by a car, the thought is the tape will help stop the so-called secondary impact.

The inventors envision the tape being covered by some type of shell which will break open upon impact with a pedestrian, but will keep the tape protected from road debris such as dirt and bugs.

A recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) confirms what Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky unfortunately knows too well, that the number of pedestrian wrongful deaths increased by 19 percent from 2009 to 2014. Sadly, pedestrian deaths are now at their largest proportion as compared to all car accident fatalities over the past 25 years.

The study estimates that there is a 10% increase in the number of pedestrians wrongful deaths in 2015, in comparison to 2014. Pedestrian wrongful deaths have risen at a steady rate of thirteen percent annually since 2005. Incredibly, Florida is one of four states which account for over forty percent of all pedestrian vs motor vehicle deaths, the other states are California, Texas and New York.

The number of pedestrian fatalities continues to rise despite the ongoing efforts of states to use technological innovations, increased law enforcement and more pedestrian education. Of course, a decrease in cell phone use by pedestrians would certainly help decrease such deaths.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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