Amanda Spence

It’s always nice to go outside and walk around. It’s nice to enjoy the Florida weather, especially this time of year. Going out for a walk or run is a great idea, but also poses hidden dangers along the roadways. Pedestrians need to be especially careful on the roads and sidewalks, no matter the circumstance. People walking, riding a bike or any other roadside activity must constantly watch their surroundings for anything out of the ordinary. In Orlando, a tragedy or personal injury can occur at any time of day and in any place in the city. People near the roadways must stay vigilant and alert at all times.

Statistics show that pedestrian injuries and fatalities occur frequently. In 2013, 4,735 people were killed in pedestrian and motor vehicle crashes. This equates to more than 12 people every day of the year. It’s always important to look around constantly to determine safety concerns. Try to walk or run on sidewalks and the sides of roadways to avoid an accident. If running or biking at night, always wear reflective items or clothing. It’s also good to wear a headlamp or light source so motorists can see you from all directions.

Urban areas are a very common place for pedestrian accidents. Even people with the right of way aren’t always seen, and a tragedy could happen in an instant. Almost three out of every four pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas. Crosswalks are a very dangerous place for pedestrians. These are found all over urban areas, allowing for many and more chances for an innocent bystander to be hurt. Orlando is a large urban area, known for its bad traffic and accidents. Personal injuries and fatalities happen far too often in the Central Florida area.

Pedestrians are often hurt in traffic crashes and have a long record of fatalities. 76,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes in 2012 alone. We hear about these tragedies constantly on the news. Many crashes aren’t even reported. Of the ones that are, police reported 5,615,000 motor vehicle crashes in 2012. Many of these involve pedestrians. They have a very high risk of being injured with every step they take along a roadway. What can walkers and runners do to avoid being involved in a crash? Try to find a trail or use a road with a clear and visible sidewalk not directly next to the roadway. This will help decrease the likelihood of being involved in a vehicle crash.

Pedestrian fatalities and injuries are a common occurrence in the United States. According to the CDC, there is one crash related pedestrian death every two hours, and a pedestrian injury every 7 minutes. These statistics are hard to believe and unsettling. Many of these involve children going to and from school. In 2012, an astonishing one in every five children between the ages of 5 and 15 were  reportedly killed in traffic crashes as pedestrians. We can’t even trust that our children will be safe walking a few blocks to school. The roads are too dangerous and pose a major threat to easily distracted children.

In Orlando, and other major cities, pedestrians must do everything they can do avoid a personal injury or accident. Most likely, if involved in an accident, they would be hurt. In 2011, pedestrian road users experienced an increase in fatalities, at a total of 4,432 deaths. Orlando pedestrians must always stay vigilant and aware of everything going on around them. Avoid distracting things, like talking on a cell phone or texting. Walking around traffic requires the exact same critical thinking skills as driving a car. This means pedestrians must stay alert and ready for anything.

If you are ever involved in a traffic accident, or need help with a personal injury in Orlando, you can always count on IRS Medic Law to be there for you. People in Central Florida need to have a plan for the worst, especially pedestrians. Always stay alert and vigilant, and plan for the unexpected.

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