Recently, we blogged about Jacksonville being one of the least safe cities in the country for pedestrians and bicyclists. In short, Jacksonville has an unacceptable amount of accidents involving vehicles striking pedestrians or bicyclists. Sadly, that trend continues.
Last night at around 10:45 p.m., a pedestrian was struck by a car in downtown Jacksonville near the intersection of Main and East Union Street. The pedestrian was rushed to Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition.
The pedestrian was walking on the sidewalk along Union Street just prior to being struck. The impact was severe enough to shatter the windshield and the window above one of the car’s door.
According to the CDC, in the United States, on average, every day 324 pedestrians require hospital treatment due to an accident with a car and twelve people die. Every year, this comes to nearly 5,000 deaths to pedestrian accidents with cars.
Children are especially vulnerable to being struck by cars. This is because of their unfamilarity with traffic rules, their decreased ability to judge distance and speed, their likelihood of being distracted and their small size. In fact, car accidents (not just pedestrian accidents) are the number one killer of children aged 5 to 14.
Men are more likely than women to be hit. Intoxicated persons make up roughly 35% of persons involved in such accidents.
Important safety rules to remember and teach your children:
-always cross at crosswalks;
-pay special attention at intersections, especially with cars turning right on a red light;
-wear bright clothing and carry a flashlight at night;
-walk on sidewalks where available; and -if you must walk in the street, walk facing oncoming vehicles.
Some helpful links include:
Safe Routes to School – helps children and parents plan and map out the safest walking route from home to school
SafeKids Worldwide – provides additional safety tips for child pedestrians
Of course, we must also all be vigilant about looking out for pedestrians when driving. Abstaining from distractions such as texting or talking on the phone are of the utmost importance. Further, driving slowly when children are present makes an accident less likely.
Florida has laws regarding pedestrian’s rights and duties when entering traffic. Other areas of Florida law apply as well. For example, your own car personal injury protection insurance will apply to pay your medical bills and lost wages if you are in an accident with a car. Furthermore, your uninsured motorist coverage will apply to provide you compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages.
For a free consultation regarding injuries to a pedestrian or bicyclist in an accident with a car, contact our Jacksonville accident attorneys. We will be glad to explain your rights.