Pedestrian fatalities have steadily increased across the country over the last decade, with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimating that 7,485 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2021. According to the GHSA, these numbers represent the most pedestrian fatalities in a single year in more than four decades. Unfortunately, this trend has also extended to Florida, where 899 pedestrians lost their lives during the same time frame, which is a 25 percent increase from 2020. If you lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident in Florida and need help holding the responsible party accountable, consider reaching out to an experienced wrongful death attorney for assistance.
Florida Pedestrian Fatalities in 2021
Pedestrian fatalities increased in 37 states and the District of Columbia in 2021. This alarming trend is also taking place in Florida, which was one of only two states (the other was Texas), that had more than 100 additional pedestrian deaths in 2021. In fact, there were 183 additional pedestrian fatalities in Florida that year. This means that around 12 percent of all pedestrian traffic fatalities in the U.S. occurred in Florida, which had the second highest number of pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 residents. Many of these accidents were the result of driver error, but poor road design and high speed limits are also thought to have contributed to this frightening trend.
Common Pedestrian Injuries
The injuries sustained by pedestrians in collisions with motorists are often catastrophic, as pedestrians lack the protections offered by seat belts and airbags, or even a barrier between themselves and the road. The types and severity of the injuries sustained will depend on a few different factors, including the speed and size of the vehicle and the age and health of the pedestrian, but certain types of injuries tend to occur more often than others, including:
- Crushed and broken bones;
- Lacerations and amputations;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs); and
- Internal injuries.
Treating these injuries is difficult and expensive and unfortunately, even after obtaining treatment, many injured pedestrians struggle with disability, or even lose their lives. In these cases, surviving family members can often seek compensation for their loved one’s medical bills, lost wages and benefits, and wrongful death. While nothing can compensate a family for the tragic and unexpected loss of a loved one, recovering wrongful death damages can help grieving relatives pay off medical debt, while they begin the long road to recovery.
Why are Pedestrian Deaths Increasing?
The U.S. has been plagued with increasing pedestrian fatalities in recent years. In fact, pedestrian deaths have gone up by almost 50 percent in the last ten years alone. This troubling trend has been attributed to a number of different factors, including:
- A surge in reckless driving practices, such as impaired driving;
- The presence of larger vehicles on the roadways, including SUVs, which are more likely to cause deadly injuries for pedestrians;
- Inadequate infrastructure for pedestrians, such as sidewalks, marked crosswalks, and lighting;
- Higher vehicle speeds;
- Poor road design, with priority being given to moving vehicles as quickly as possible rather than pedestrian safety; and
- A lack of access to post-crash emergency care.
Of these factors, a lack of sidewalks has played one of the biggest roles in the trend of increasing pedestrian deaths. One recent study conducted in Central Florida, for instance, revealed that the likelihood of pedestrian accidents per mile is three times greater when there is no sidewalk present. Which of these many factors contributed to or caused a pedestrian accident will dictate who can be held liable for a victim’s injuries or wrongful death. For help determining the cause of your own loved one’s fatal pedestrian accident, please reach out to our dedicated legal team of attorneys and support staff.
Experienced Miami Wrongful Death Lawyers
Many cities in Florida are working to make the roads safer for pedestrians, adding medians, moving sidewalks, and adjusting speed limits. Unfortunately, these changes can’t be made all at once, which means that pedestrians will still be at risk of injury for years to come. If you or a loved one were hurt in a pedestrian accident and you have questions about your recovery options, call the dedicated Miami wrongful death lawyers at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein today. You can set up a free case review by calling our office at 305-371-2692 or by sending us an online message. We are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us by phone or online message.