Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) reports that Florida is among the top states in the nation when it comes to pedestrian accidents. In fact, 27% of all traffic fatalities in the state involve pedestrian or bicycle accidents. Unfortunately, children and students can be especially vulnerable to these types of accidents, simply because they may bike or walk more often than adults.

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According to safety experts, there are many things that can be done to reduce pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents in Miami and across Florida:

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Your children are learning all sorts of useful things in school, but as a parent you are still your children’s most important teacher. One important thing you can teach your child is how to navigate traffic safely. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents in Hollywood, Miami, and the rest of Southern Florida are an especially big risk for children. Children may act impulsively, may be harder to spot, and may not have the skills needed to cross streets safely.

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As a parent, there are several things you can do to help your children:

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If your child will be biking or walking to school this year, this is a good time of year to review your plan to avoid pedestrian accidents. Biking or walking to school gives your child the chance to exercise, get fresh air, and spend time with friends. However, it can also put them at an increased risk of pedestrian and traffic accidents. Each year, children are injured in pedestrian accidents in Hollywood and other South Florida communities, but there are ways to prevent these tragedies.

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Here’s how to keep your child safe all school year long:

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Florida cities have been ranked among the worst in the nation for pedestrians and bicyclists, and three years ago the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) responded with studies into road safety as well as potential design changes to make streets safer for all users. One of the changes Florida DOT is considering making is narrowing lanes. According to some experts, narrower lanes encourage drivers to slow down, which makes streets safer for pedestrians and bikers. In Miami Beach, Alton Road is one of the roads that is being redesigned with narrower lanes.

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Traffic accidents in Miami Beach and other cities can occur due to busy downtown cores and due to suburban street design, which is often created for cars rather than pedestrians. One problem is that downtown urban streets are often designed with the same features as highways, which just encourage drivers to go faster. Part of the reason is because much of Florida was developed during the boom in the first few decades of the 20th century. At the time, there was less of a focus on walking and bicycling and more of a focus on making streets accessible to cars. Some communities were built largely for car traffic, with less thought to other forms of traffic.

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Walking to school is a great way for children to get a measure of independence and exercise. However, walking to school in Homestead and other Florida communities can put children at risk of pedestrian accidents. There are many ways that you can help prevent this type of child injury in your community:

1) Be extra cautious around schools and during school times if you are a driver.

Children do not always remember to use crosswalks and do not always remember to check for oncoming traffic before stepping out on the road. Children are especially likely to be near school areas and parks before and after school, so stay extra vigilant in these areas and during these times of day.

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Pedestrian accidents in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas have been a concern for some time. The city’s Las Olas Boulevard has especially been the site of a number of traffic accidents. A new initiative in the area is supposed to crack down on the number of pedestrians injuries – but does it send the wrong message about roadway safety?

The latest program asks pedestrians at the intersection of Las Olas Boulevard and Southeast 13th avenue to make eye contact with the driver when crossing the street and to wave one of the neon-orange flags provided at the intersection. The program is part of a test to see whether the flags will improve safety.

So far, only the one intersection in Fort Lauderdale has the flags and instructions on how to use them, but the flag system has been tried in other parts of the country. In two U.S. cities, communities eventually got rid of the flags after deciding that they were not helping prevent collisions.

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Pedestrian accidents are an umbrella term for any collision in which a pedestrian is struck by a larger vehicle – such as a truck or car. In reality, however, there are many types of pedestrian accidents, each with their own unique risks and legal issues:

1) Hit-and-run accidents.

Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents in Hollywood and other Florida communities are all too common. Often, they are caused by panicking drivers who are on the road illegally or who do not have insurance. For pedestrians, these types of accidents can be deadly. A pedestrian may not get medical help in time if the driver leaves the scene of an accident. Without a driver, the pedestrian may also have a hard time securing compensation and insurance money for their injuries.

2) Intersection accidents.

Intersections in Hollywood and other cities are dangerous because pedestrians must share the road with many other types of vehicles, and many of those vehicles are turning or driving in different directions. All it takes is for one driver to be distracted or to miss a pedestrian in their blind spot, and an accident can occur. Intersection collisions also often involve speed, so that that brain injuries, amputation, fatalities, and other devastating losses are quite common in these types of high-speed crashes

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Now that kids are heading back to school, it’s time to think up strategies for keeping them safe from pedestrian accidents in Homestead or your community. While walking to school is a great way to encourage exercise and time outside, kids who want to walk to school oftem have to contend with morning and evening traffic. To prevent them from being injured, you will want to:

1) Encourage your child to walk home (and to school) with a friend.

If your child is too old to be walked to school by a parent, encourage them to walk to school with older kids or with friends. Children are easier to spot when they are in a group, so motorists may be more aware of groups of children rather than a lone child walking along. An older friend can also help teach a younger child about pedestrian safety.

2) Walk and plan the route together.

If your child is old enough to walk to school alone or with friends, walk the route with them in the morning and afternoon so that they can see how to get to school safely. Along the way, you may want to review basic pedestrian safety rules. A few “trial runs” also lets you see how well your child handles walking through intersections. If your child is not careful when with you, you may want to find another option for getting them to school safely.

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The stores are full of back-to-school gear right now, but getting ready for school is about a lot more than choosing the right backpack or this season’s jeans. Back to school means a new routine and new challenges. It can also mean a risk of injuries and traffic accidents in Homestead and your community. As kids head back to classes, it can mean more pedestrians in the mornings and a busy school run – both things can increase your risks of a collision. Here’s how to reduce your risk:

1) Create a walk-safe system for your kids.

Child injury in Homestead and other communities can easily happen if your children walk to school. Before sending your child out, walk the school route with your child a few times, taking note of any hazards along the way. If your child is young, consider having them walk to school with friends, since groups of children may be easier for motorists to spot.

2) Review pedestrian safety.

This is a good time to review pedestrian safety, especially since children walking to school are at risk of pedestrian accidents in Homestead and other communities. To go beyond the usual “look both ways” tips, check out the University of Florida Resource Center, a site with interactive learning activities related to pedestrian safety. Another good resource is Safe Kids Worldwide, a website with videos and other teaching tools.

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Many studies and polls have identified South Florida as one of the worst regions in the country for bicycle and pedestrian fatalities. According to investigative reports by the Sun Sentinel and other media companies, the area is known as being largely a driving area, with a motorist and two pedestrians struck, on average, daily in the area. A recent poll ranked South Florida as the fourth most dangerous area for pedestrians. The top three regions for pedestrian fatalities were also all in Florida.

The Broward County Metropolitan Planning Office and others are trying to reduce the number of bicycle and pedestrian accidents in Hollywood and other areas. However, the process is slow. The planning office in Broward County has only one staff member dedicated to integrating pedestrian and bicycle safety ideas into major land-use projects in the area. And in order to integrate these ideas, it is important to ensure that the state Department of Transportation, county government, and municipalities all agree on the initiatives – which can be a challenge in and of itself.

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Even though the most dangerous intersections are known and authorities as well as city planners know what must be done to prevent the number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents in Hollywood and other South Florida areas, the executive director of the Metropolitan Planning Office in the area has stated that it may take between five to seven years to implement those ideas with the resources currently available.

Safety experts and the Metropolitan Planning Office understand that to prevent serious motor vehicle collisions in Hollywood and other cities, there are several things that need to be done in order to protect pedestrians and bicyclists:

1) Wider bike lanes and more bicycle lanes. Many bicycle accidents could be prevented if bicycles and cars did not have to share the road as often. Bicycle lanes move bikers safely out of the way of cars and make it easier for motorists to spot bicyclists. More bicycle lanes could help prevent accidents and wider bike lanes could give bicyclists more room to prevent cars from brushing bicycles.

2) Better street markings. Good street design and markings could prevent some motor vehicle collisions in Hollywood and Florida. Clear signs to delineate lanes, bike lanes, and crosswalks could help drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other users of roads.

3) Better signs. Good signage is important in helping everyone get to their destinations safely. Good warning signs for known dangers, signs indicating bike lanes and other road attributes helps drivers and bicyclists make better decisions on the roads.

4) Education campaigns. Everyone needs to be reminded of safety tips once in a while. Education campaigns that help bring awareness to pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and accidents could help curb right of way accidents in Hollywood as well as other types of pedestrian and bike collisions in Florida.

5) Lighted crosswalks. Crosswalks with good lighting ensure that drivers can see pedestrians and other users of the road at intersections.

6) Wider sidewalks and more sidewalks. Narrow sidewalks could push pedestrians out on the road and unfortunately some areas have no sidewalks on the road, forcing pedestrians to share the road to motorists.

7) New medians. Medians keep road traffic separate from pedestrians and help keep traffic traveling in different directions separate, helping prevent head-on crashes.

8) Better law enforcement. Unfortunately, even with good road design and more awareness of the problem some motorists will inevitably violate the rules of the road and put pedestrians and bicyclists at risk. Better law enforcement can pursue these dangerous drivers and potentially get them off the streets.

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