The tradition of beach driving may be costing lives. According to experts, beach driving leads to many Florida car accidents and pedestrian accidents each year. Between 2005 and 2010, 45 Florida pedestrian accidents took place on Volusia County beaches alone because someone was driving a vehicle on the beach. According to experts, beach driving leads to about 6% of Florida pedestrian accidents. This year, Volusia County Council has hired a consultant to review beach safety and beach driving to determine whether there is any way to reduce the number of beach accidents involving cars and vehicles.
A review by the News-Journal, a local newspaper, found that in many Florida car accidents and vehicle accidents on the beach, pedestrians were in fact lying down or sitting down on the beach, potentially making them less visible to drivers. In about one-third of cases, drivers were backing up when the accident occurred, suggesting that in many cases the pedestrian was simply not seen by the driver in the rear-view mirror.
As well, according to the newspaper, about half of Florida car accidents on the beach take place during March and July, the months when beaches are busiest. This may mean that simply changing the rules or laws during these two months can significantly reduce the instances of Florida pedestrian accidents on the beaches. Volusia County Council has also considered adding more car-free zones and more signage on the beach to prevent accidents.
Exerts claim that one of the problems is that the beach is a constant intersection. Most Florida car accidents occur at intersections, simply because these are the points where conflict can most easily take place. On a beach, however, the flow of people and vehicles is constant, creating almost endless points of conflict. At the same time, experts note that more people on beaches are bitten by sharks than injured in collisions with vehicles.
Some suggestions for improving beach safety also include creating completely separate areas for sunbathing and driving. This will help ensure that people who are lying down and people who are driving are simply not in the same area. Some experts have also suggested that parts of beaches should be completely closed down during times when the beaches are busy to allow for better supervision. However, for families who have lost children or loved ones to beach pedestrian accidents want cars banned entirely from beaches, saying it is too unsafe for pedestrians and vehicles to share the same space.
If you are injured in a Florida car accident – on a beach or on the road – contact the Flaxman Law Group for immediate assistance. The Flaxman Law Group has successfully represented traffic accident survivors in Miami, Homestead, Hollywood, and surrounding areas. We may be able to help you as well.