Spring Break Pedestrian Risks Abound in Fort Lauderdale

The month of March is one of the busiest we see in the area. People from all over the country enjoy our sunny and sandy beaches and soak up that Florida sunshine.

With all these visitors, and with kids let out of school for spring break, we see a significant increase in traffic on our coast. Our Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorneys know walkers have traditionally faced some of the greatest risk.
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A motor vehicle encounter can be deadly for walkers, even when the vehicle is moving at slow speed. Because of our year round sunshine and because of the popularity of our beaches, Florida continues to be ranked as one of the most dangerous states in the country for these kinds of accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were close to 500 pedestrians killed in Florida in 2010. During that year, we were ranked as the second most dangerous, only behind the state of California.

Unfortunately, pedestrians can’t always rely on drivers to keep them safe.

On average, a pedestrian is injured every 8 minutes in the U.S. Most of these accidents happen because drivers aren’t paying attention at the wheel and because our on-foot travelers aren’t using crosswalks. It’s important that we all obey traffic signals. By taking basic precautions and being aware of one’s surroundings, the likelihood of an unnecessary collision can be dramatically reduced.

As we head through the month of March, we’re asking drivers to be on alert. Make sure you’re looking for pedestrians as you head through our city. It’s important to remember that pedestrians can be unpredictable and can be found almost anywhere — so be on the lookout. You’re riding in what could be considered a deadly weapon to a pedestrian.

For the pedestrians, the City of Fort Lauderdale offers some important tips to help to keep you safe out there.

-Make sure that you’re walking where you’re supposed to. Stay off of freeways and other restricted zones.

-Always use a sidewalk when one if provided.

-If sidewalks are not available, walk on the edge of the road or on the left shoulder of the road, facing the traffic flow.

-Cross only where it’s legal to do so.

-Make sure that drivers can see you. Always wear bright-colored clothing and retro-reflective materials. When you’re traveling at night, carry a flashlight with you.

-Be cautions when crossing. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. You want to make sure they see you.

-Never walk under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

-Be careful at intersections, where drivers may fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians while turning onto another street.

-Use extra caution when crossing multiple-lane, higher speed streets.

Enjoy your spring break, but please do so safely.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact Richard Ansara at 954 761-3641 or toll-free at 877-277-3780 for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

More Blog Entries:

Darkness Posing Risks for More Broward Pedestrian Accidents, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, February 26, 2013

Protecting our Children from Dangers of the Road, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, December 30, 2012