Pedestrian accidents are an all-too-common occurrence in Orlando. Unfortunately, these accidents could potentially become an even bigger problem, according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). In fact, the number of pedestrian fatalities has reached an alarming high and is only expected to increase in coming years.
The study reported that 6,227 pedestrians were killed in 2018. This number is 250 more deaths than 2017, and it is the highest number reported since 1990. The GHSA study took data collected from highway safety officials for the first six months of 2018. The study reported that since 2009, the number of pedestrians fatalities has increased 51.5 percent. In fact, pedestrian deaths comprise 16 percent of all road fatalities, which is up 12 percent from 2009.
What is causing the increase in pedestrian deaths? According to the study, it has to do with the increased number of SUV’s on the road, as well as our society’s reliance on smartphones. And it is not only the drivers on their cell phones, distracted walking is a common occurrence in Central Florida. Simply take a walk around Orlando, and you will see people glued to their screens while crossing the street, even at busy intersections.
It only takes a second for a pedestrian or driver to look away from what he or she is doing before tragedy strikes. According to AAA, the number of drivers who reported talking on their phones regularly or often while behind the wheel went up 46 percent since 2013. Half of them admitted that they talked on a hand-held phone while driving, while 35 percent admitted to texting or emailing while behind the wheel. Additionally, AAA reports that drivers who are talking on their cell phones while driving are four times more likely to get into an accident while those who text while driving are eight times more likely to get into an accident.
Pedestrian-related fatalities involving vehicles, passenger cars accounted for many of these deaths. However, the number of SUVs causing these fatalities has increased significantly, jumping 50 percent since 2013. With more SUVs sold every year, this number is expected to increase over time. In fact, SUVs now account for 60 percent of new vehicle sales.
The number of pedestrians on the roads has also gone up over time. As more people are looking to get healthier by walking to work for exercise, more pedestrians are out and about in Orlando. The study reported that the number of people walking to work went up four percent between 2007 and 2016. As more people are on the roads, the risk of them being injured also goes up. GHSA reported that the 10 states with the highest population growth included our very own state. Florida, along with nine other states, showed a five percent increase in fatalities in the first half of 2018, when compared to the same time period in 2017.
Involved in a pedestrian accident? Hire an Experienced Orlando Pedestrian Accident Lawyer.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a pedestrian accident in the greater Orlando area or in the surrounding counties of Seminole, Orange, Osceola, or Volusia, call us today or use the contact form found on this page to schedule your free Orlando Pedestrian Accident Consultation. The law firm of Michael T. Gibson, P.A. is the Home of the More For You Guarantee and is dedicated to protecting the rights of those involved in pedestrian and automobile accidents and will fight aggressively on your behalf to obtain the compensation you deserve following an accident. We can help you obtain compensation for medical bills, future medical treatment, property damage, loss of wages, pain and suffering, etc. Our office is open daily from 8AM – 5PM. We are also available by phone 24 Hours a Day, 7 days a week at 407-422-4529.