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The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. Your trusted legal advisors since 1976

Pedestrian Safety Tips for the Spring

With spring in full force, many people are outside enjoying the beautiful weather and fresh air. For some, hitting the sidewalk is a great form of exercise. Others save money on gas by walking to work.

Yet crossing the street in Florida is not a relaxing affair. Metropolitan areas — Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville and Miami — are highly congested. Drivers of motor vehicles frequently disregard crosswalks, and fail to yield to pedestrians. In fact, Florida has the highest pedestrian death rate in the nation — 2.83 per 100,000 residents. In 2010, 4,280 pedestrians were killed across the country, and 487 of those deaths occurred in Florida. The next time you cross 5th Avenue North or head into work early so you can grab a cup of java at the new café that just opened, follow these safety tips:

  • Do not wear ear buds or headphones — When crossing the street or walking in a motor-vehicle congested environment, you need all of your senses. You need to be able to hear brakes squeaking, sirens wailing, car horns honking and other important traffic sounds.

  • Use crosswalks — When drivers approach a crosswalk, they must stop and allow pedestrians to cross the street. However, you should never assume that crosswalks are safe. Look both ways, make eye contact with drivers and ensure it is safe before stepping onto the road.

  • Never dart across the street — It happens all the time. A person darts out from between parked cars to cross the street, only to get hit by a car. Drivers are not expecting to see anything or anyone suddenly run out into the road. As a result, they often have difficulty reacting fast enough and stopping.

Pedestrian accidents often lead to catastrophic, if not fatal injuries. If you or a loved one suffers injury in such an accident, consult with an aggressive injury attorney today.

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