Between 2014 and 2015, the number of highway traffic deaths in Florida increased by over 17%. The increase has some safety experts worried and some lawmakers suggested tougher penalties for motorists who crash into pedestrians and bicyclists.
Some legislators have also suggested toughening Florida’s texting and driving rules. Currently, the state makes texting and driving a secondary offense, meaning a driver has to be pulled over for another offense for an officer to give them a citation for texting behind the wheel.
There’s no doubt action was needed. The recent increase in traffic fatalities has occurred despite the fact that Florida has been aiming to reduce the number of accident deaths in the state and has launched programs over the past few years to make the streets safer.
Why are there so many traffic collisions?
There are many theories as to why drivers crash so often in Florida. Some experts blame distracted, drugged, and drunk driving, while others allege Florida’s streets themselves may be designed in a way that allows crashes to happen. Parts of South Florida – such as Hollywood – developed during the land booms of the 1920s and beyond. As areas developed in the 1950s, many forward-looking planners thought the future would be all vehicles. In some neighborhoods, there are few sidewalks and walking areas. Even in places where sidewalks exist, there may not be any barriers to protect pedestrians from cars.
What can we do to prevent pedestrian accidents and car accidents?
1) Practice safe driving.
We all know the basics of safer driving – put away distractions, drive sober, and drive defensively. When we practice what we know and take our driving skills as seriously as we take our career-boosting skills, we become safer on the roads.
2) Practice safe walking and biking.
Pedestrians and bicyclists also have a responsibility to stay safe. This means obeying traffic rules and lights and looking out for motorists. Safe, green spaces for walking and biking – such as biking trails and parks – are a great place to relax and stay safe.
3) Work to build safer communities.
If you live in Hollywood or another South Florida community and notice an intersection that’s unsafe, there are many things you can do. You can write to your elected representatives, for example, to ask them to make changes. You can also join community and advocacy groups dedicated to road safety to encourage positive changes in your community.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by poor road design or by someone’s negligence, contact Flaxman Law Group. You may be able to file a legal claim, which lets you seek compensation and can also encourage changes in your community to prevent further car accidents. Contact our law firm for more details. Your first consultation with us is always free.