A nationwide study about pedestrian injuries and fatalities was just released. The 2014 “Dangerous By Design” Report finds that FOUR FLORIDA CITIES – Orlando, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and Miami – are the four most dangerous cities in the United States for pedestrians. This is disappointing and tragic – but it should come as no surprise. Orlando, Tampa/St. Pete, Jacksonville and Miami were ranked as the four worst cities in the 2011 Dangerous By Design Study! The study evaluates America’s cities by a “Pedestrian Danger Index” (PDI) that indicates how likely a person on foot is to be hit and killed by a motor vehicle. The from 2003 to 2012, the national “Pedestrian Danger Index” was 52.2. The four Florida cities are more than THREE TIMES AS DANGEROUS as the national average. Jacksonville’s PDI was 182.71, Orlando’s was 244.28, and Tampa’s was 190.13.
Attorney Chris Burns was interviewed by First Coast News in Jacksonville, Florida and asked to share his expertise on why Florida has this problem of pedestrian fatalities and how we can solve it. Chris Burns believes pedestrian fatalities are exacerbated by three different issues – (1) lack of adequate pedestrian and bicycling facilities on roadways; (2) vehicles traveling at too high speeds, especially in the urban core of our Florida cities; and (3) a culture in Florida which gives “lip service” to providing safe and convenient access to walkers and bicyclists on roads, but which really only favors motorists. There are too many roads without adequate pedestrian crosswalks, signals to accommodate pedestrians, or lights that are timed to give walkers too little time. There are too many long, straight roads, even going through the urban core of Florida cities, which allows motorists to drive too fast. If you are a pedestrian hit by a car traveling 20 mph, you have only a 5% chance of dying. If you are hit by a vehicle traveling at 40 mph, you have over a 90% chance of losing your life. Please see the interview Chris provided to First Coast News:
Chris urges Florida cities to improve their infrastructure. Cities should adopt “complete streets” policies, but also put actual design standards into place for roadway construction that uphold the principals of “complete streets” policy.
If you have been a victim of a bicycle or pedestrian accident and want a lawyer to fully and fairly and vigorously protect your rights, please contact Terrell Hogan attorney Chris Burns. Consultations are always free of charge.