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Stretch of Highway in Florida May Be Most Dangerous for Pedestrians

July 27, 2022
Colson Hicks Eidson

Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise across the United States. Many potential factors may be to blame for this trend. For instance, the rise of smartphones has resulted in more motorists and pedestrians being distracted when they should be paying attention to their surroundings. It’s easy to understand why this might contribute to rising pedestrian accident rates.

To get a better sense of why pedestrian accidents occur and where they occur most often, Robert Shcneider, a professor of urban planning at the University of Milwaukee Wisconsin, enlisted the help of three colleagues to review the available data.

The team looked at data from the US government’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Focusing on recorded pedestrian deaths between 2001 and 2016, their goal was to identify what they refer to as “hot spots.” A hot spot, according to their criteria, is a 1000-meter stretch of road where at least six pedestrians have lost their lives over the course of two eight-year spans.

The team identified 60 hot spots throughout the country in total. However, they were alarmed to find that one area in particular is remarkably dangerous for pedestrians. Seven of the 60 hot spots the team found were located on US-19 in Florida’s Pasco County.

Why Are Pedestrian Deaths So Common on US-19 in Pasco County?

This stretch of US-19 is notorious among locals for being quite treacherous. Despite this, it is difficult for many to avoid, and is thus often flooded with high levels of traffic.

It’s also not designed to be pedestrian-friendly. Crosswalks are spaced quite far apart in many stretches, and pedestrians are sometimes required to walk as much as half a mile to find one. This makes it difficult for pedestrians to cross the busy road safely.

Over a decade ago, in 2021, officials from Pasco County met with state officials to discuss how improvements could be made to boost the safety of pedestrians using this road. Unfortunately, data indicates that their efforts have not yielded any significant results. Pedestrians continue to lose their lives at very high rates when walking along or crossing US-19 in Pasco County.

The Role of a Florida Pedestrian Accident Attorney

At Colson Hicks Eidson, our Florida pedestrian accident attorneys are very familiar with the devastating consequences a victim and their family might suffer if they are struck by a motor vehicle while walking. Even pedestrians who do not lose their lives as a result of accidents on US-19 and elsewhere in our state may nevertheless be left with serious injuries requiring costly medical treatment.

It is up to lawmakers and urban planners to take large-scale action in an attempt to address the high rate of pedestrian deaths not only in Florida, but across the entire country. We need to modify our infrastructure to ensure pedestrians are less exposed to danger.

As pedestrian accident attorneys, we also know we can do our part by helping victims seek the compensation they deserve when they are injured on Florida’s roads. If you’ve been harmed or lost a loved one in a Florida pedestrian accident, learn more about what our team can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at 305-476-7400.