Talk to Your Teen About Pedestrian Safety
Teenagers spend a good deal of time walking, whether to and from school or when out visiting friends. While this is a good way to keep fit, it does expose them to potential dangers. In general, Florida ranks high in terms of the number of pedestrian accidents that occur each year, which often result in serious and potentially life threatening personal injuries. Teens in particular are often at risk, and it is important for them to be aware of what to watch out for as well as ways to protect themselves.
Pedestrian Accidents In Florida
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 70,000 people are injured each year in the United States as the result of pedestrian accidents, while more than 5,000 end up losing their lives as the result of these injuries. Unfortunately, Florida leads the nation when it comes to pedestrian fatalities, which impact more than 600 victims and their family members each year. These accidents are often the result of reckless driving behaviors on the part of motorists, such as the following:
- Speeding and going too fast for conditions;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Running red lights and stop signs;
- Disregarding crosswalks and other traffic signals.
Despite improvements to local infrastructure and efforts to increase awareness among drivers, the overall number of car crashes involving pedestrians continues to increase each year. The latest statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reported more than 9,000 of these accidents in 2016, which have the potential to put your teen at risk.
Teenagers at Risk of Being Involved in Pedestrian Accidents
According to studies conducted by SafeKids.org, teens have a greater tendency to get distracted in general, which puts them at increased risk for pedestrian accidents. When walking, they are likely to be busy looking at and talking with friends, texting on cell phones, or listening to music through earbuds. They may not pay attention to warning signs around them, such as the sound of tires screeching or the honking or a horn, and may be more likely to wander into crosswalks or attempt to cross the street without looking in both directions first.
Safe Kids reports that as many as 10,000 or more teens are involved in pedestrian accidents each year, and more than 40 percent admit to having been involved in a near miss where they were almost struck on at least one occasion. For their own protection, encourage your teen to leave their cell phone in their pocket when walking, to focus on the path in front of them, and to keep an eye out for drivers who may be distracted or engaged in other reckless driving behaviors.
Contact Us Today for Help
Unfortunately, despite taking precautions you can not always protect yourself from the reckless actions of others. When you or those you care about suffer accidental injuries, the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III is here to help. Reach out and contact our Fort Pierce personal injury attorney and request a consultation to see how we can assist you.