Fort Lauderdale is a premier destination for tourists. At any one moment, hundreds of pedestrians can be walking towards the beach or seeking fine dining and shopping downtown. Local residents are also depending on their feet to walk to work or school. They may also park and head into a grocery store.
It’s great to take a stroll in such a beautiful city, but being a pedestrian also leaves people vulnerable to visitors and residents who depend on heavy, fast-moving vehicles to get around.
Pedestrian collisions are a sad fact of life in South Florida. Those on foot can cross in well-marked crosswalks with flashing lights and still be put in danger by drivers who aren’t paying attention.
Cowen Edwards Trial Lawyers recently studied the problem across Broward County. In this study, we hope that a visual representation of the growing issue helps remind motorists to spend more time looking out for vulnerable pedestrians.
Florida’s Pedestrian Accident Problem
Florida’s pedestrian safety problems have recently attracted national attention. Smart Growth America’s 2022 research found that Florida had the second highest pedestrian death rates among all states, only behind New Mexico, after accounting for population. Over a four-year period, Florida recorded 3.22 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents. That worked out to the sad loss of 3,420 people for the span.
Florida’s pedestrian accident totals have been on the rise every year since the pandemic of 2020. Deadly pedestrian collisions spiked in 2021 and only fell back slightly in 2022.
According to The Florida Highway Safety And Motor Vehicles Department (FLHSMV), there were just over 10,000 accidents involving pedestrians across the state in 2022. Almost 800 victims lost their lives in those heartbreaking accidents.
Fort Lauderdale and Broward County Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Smart Growth America’s data also ranked the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro area as having the 14th worst pedestrian fatality rate among all major metro areas in the United States.
After a slight dip in pedestrian accidents in 2020, collisions involving a victim on foot have remained alarmingly high. In 2022, there were 1,025 crashes involving a pedestrian in Fort Lauderdale and across Broward County.
These accidents don’t have much of an impact as numbers plugged into a chart. However, we must remember that each accident leaves behind perhaps a frightened victim, or even a victim in pain from a serious injury. Victims might also suffer debilitating injuries to leave them facing lifelong disabilities
The most serious pedestrian accident can easily threaten human life and leave a family behind to grieve. Each accident takes a toll on local families, friends, and the community at large.
Unfortunately, these life-changing incidents aren’t rare. The FLHSMV found that over 800 people suffered injuries in Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accidents and in accidents across the county in 2022. Those accidents took a tragic 75 lives.
In unofficial 2023 pedestrian accident numbers through the middle of October, an estimated 712 victims have lost their lives. That figure is already close to the total for all of 2022 as seen above.
Hit-And-Run Pedestrian Accidents in Fort Lauderdale
Hit-and-run accidents continue to be a major problem in Southern Florida. Many drivers choose to speed away from the scenes of collisions, which can be a life-and-death choice when an injured pedestrian is involved. A fleeing driver may leave a pedestrian in the road and in the path of other unsuspecting motorists. The victim could get hit again.
Those on foot struck by hit-and-run drivers may also have to wait longer on life-saving care if a suspect doesn’t call 911 immediately. Then there’s the cost of recovery for the victim who may get no help with hospital bills and physical therapy costs.
The FLHSMV found a few discouraging figures on pedestrian hit-and-run incidents in Florida:
- 144 of the state’s fatal hit-and-run crashes in 2022 involved pedestrians. 50 victims were bicyclists.
- The number of deaths of pedestrians and bicyclists combined represents 73% of the fatal hit-and-run traffic incidents overall in Florida.
- While overall hit-and-run fatalities were down compared to 2021, the percentage of bicyclists and pedestrians who died in hit-and-run crashes rose by 3%.
Fort Lauderdale recorded over 12,500 hit-and-run traffic accidents in 2022. 44 victims were killed in those crashes. Sadly, too many of those victims were defenseless pedestrians left behind at the scene.
A Plea to Fort Lauderdale Drivers in 2023 and Beyond
Unsafe traffic conditions along our beach parking areas and our most popular streets can deter people from getting out of their homes or booking a week at a local resort. It’s a sad reason that people may not want to live or vacation in our sunny, beautiful city.
Walking should be part of life in Fort Lauderdale, but pedestrian accident rates don’t seem to be going down along busy roads like Highway 1 and Seabreeze Boulevard. And things aren’t likely to change without the full attention of local and visiting drivers. They’ll have to avoid looking at cell phones and the scenery and start focusing on sidewalks, crosswalks, and streets. It’s the only way they’ll have a chance to spot every pedestrian, slow down, and allow them a chance to make it home safely.
If you or a loved one have been hurt in a pedestrian accident in Fort Lauderdale, please contact Cowen Edwards Trial Lawyers. Our Fort Lauderdale Pedestrian Accident Lawyers offer free case consultations to all victims so they’ll be armed with the knowledge they need to earn the injury support they need.