New Port Richey, FL – The Florida Highway Patrol has announced that pedestrian accidents increased in the Tampa Bay area in 2012.
The FHP divides the state of Florida into different “troops” to determine pedestrian-involved traffic accidents. Pasco County is one of seven counties designated as Troop C – spanning 5,000 miles from the Sunshine Skyway at the southern point and extending to the Crystal River Nuclear Power Plant at the northern end.
Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties all had the highest number of pedestrian fatalities within Troop C for 2012. Hillsborough and Pinellas each had 12 fatalities, and Pasco had 11.
According to the FHP’s data, Troop C had a total of 331 pedestrian-related accidents in 2012, resulting in a total of 41 deaths. Nearly 90 percent of these deaths occurred at night or in the early evening. The FHP documented that two-thirds of the pedestrian fatalities happened because the pedestrian failed to yield to oncoming traffic.
Males made up 72 percent of those killed this year in pedestrian accidents.
When a pedestrian is struck by a car, debilitating injuries or even death usually occur for the simple fact that pedestrians do not have the added protection of being inside a vehicle equipped with air bags and seat belts. According to the FHP, one out of eight pedestrians involved in a traffic accident will not survive. Sadly, many of these accidents could have been prevented if the drivers involved had paid more attention to the road and followed general safety guidelines.
Pedestrian accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, some of the most common being drivers distracted by their cell phones or other electronic devices, drivers engaged in reckless driving behaviors like speeding or driving drunk, and even drivers making simple mistakes, such as failing to look before backing up or making a turn. Drivers who take a few extra precautions while traveling can often prevent a pedestrian accident from ever happening, so it is best to keep an eye out for danger and reacquaint yourself with these safety rules:
• Avoid distractions of any kind and keep your eyes on the road. A fatal pedestrian accident can happen in a matter of seconds, so constantly be on the lookout for those traveling on foot while driving.
• Put your cell phone away when driving. Texting and driving is one of the leading causes of fatal traffic accidents, so keep your phone out of reach while behind the wheel.
• Do not operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription medications.
• Yield to pedestrians. This includes when they are crossing an intersection or still crossing when the traffic light changes. Never assume that people will just follow the safety rules, so be extra cautious and prepared to stop.
• Obey the speed limit. Use added caution when traveling through parking lots and driving through neighborhoods with small children, runners and bicyclists.
If you or a member of your family has been involved in a pedestrian accident, a New Port Richey Pedestrian Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help. These cases are often complex, as it can be somewhat difficult to determine who was at fault. At Whittel & Melton, we can investigate your accident and make sure you recover the full and fair compensation for your injuries and losses. Your initial consultation is always free, so contact us today online or call our New Port Richey office at 727-847-2299.