Recently, a pedestrian was struck and killed in suburban West Palm Beach. The pedestrian was hit by a car at around 6 a.m. near a Mobile gas station on the corner of Haverhill Road and Okeechobee Boulevard. Palm Beach Post reports investigators were looking into a Ford with a damaged windshield and were trying to determine the cause of the collision as well as the identity of the pedestrian.
Unfortunately, Florida is a really dangerous state for pedestrians. Governors Highway Safety Association indicates Florida and just three other states (Texas, New York and California) are the site of 43 percent of all pedestrian deaths throughout the entire United States. Tragic accidents like this recent fatal one in West Palm, as well as others throughout the state, could all be prevented in situations where drivers exercise greater care and pedestrians do their part to stay safe.
Tips for Pedestrian Accident Crash Reduction
There has been growing concern pedestrians are getting into more crashes because the pedestrians are distracted. Walking and talking on a phone can be a cognitive distraction, but using a smart phone to text or email while walking can take away your brain focus and take eyes off the road. Pedestrians need to make sure they pay careful attention, just like drivers do, to what is going on around them. If you are walking on a road, don't look down at your phone - look at what cars are doing.
In the recent accident involving the pedestrian in West Palm Beach, the collision occurred before it was fully light out yet. Pedestrians need to know if they walk after dark and before dawn, it will be harder for drivers to see them. Wearing reflective clothing and bright colors can be a good idea to become more visible and reduce the chances a car will strike.
While pedestrians have some responsibilities in trying to stay safe, ultimately there is little they can do if a driver ends up approaching and hitting them. Drivers have to make sure they are following the rules and paying attention to try to avoid causing a crash which hurts or kills someone who is walking.
Drivers should be especially careful when in areas with high numbers of pedestrians, but should also be aware pedestrians could be anywhere. Drivers need to obey laws for traffic signals and crosswalks; maintain a safe speed so they can stop in time if they see pedestrians; avoid drinking and driving; and avoid distraction in their cars.
The tragic death of a pedestrian in suburban West Palm is a reminder of what can happen when a pedestrian faces the force and magnitude of a car with limited protection, so drivers need to make sure they are taking their safety responsibilities seriously.