One of the most efficient, affordable ways to get around Miami is on foot, but there are risks involved when walking in one of the most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians in the U.S. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), accidents involving people on foot are among the deadliest traffic-related collisions in the state. While pedestrian accidents make up just 2% of the total crashes that occur in Miami-Dade County every year, they are responsible for 30% of the fatalities.
While the lack of a protective metal shell and size differential compared to other vehicles are key factors, one of the most critical indicators of injury severity in pedestrian collisions is vehicle speed. Despite aggressive efforts to enforce the 25 mph speed limit in Downtown Miami, motorists still travel too fast and put all road users at risk. It is important to consult with a Miami pedestrian accidents attorney right away if you were injured, but you might find it useful to understand the role speed plays in these types of accidents.
Relationship Between Speed and Pedestrian Injuries
Many studies have been conducted on how speed affects the severity of trauma in a pedestrian crash, and researchers at AAA formulated their results in terms of percentages. For instance:
- A walker faces a 10% chance of severe injury when the vehicle is traveling at 16 mph.
- At an impact speed of 23 mph, the likelihood of severe injury reaches 25%.
- When the motorized vehicle is traveling at 32 mph, the pedestrian’s risk of death rises to 25%.
- If a person on foot is struck by a vehicle at 58 mph impact speed, the chance of fatality is 90%.
Note that these percentages do vary based upon the pedestrian’s age, as a younger victim is more likely to survive the impact. AAA statistics show that the risk of death to a 70-year-old person hit by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is the same as the threat to a 30-year-old pedestrian struck at 35 mph impact speed.
Speed Versus Speeding in the Legal Process
The key to recovering compensation in a pedestrian accident case is negligence: You need to prove that the incident was caused by the motorist’s breach of the duty to drive safely, and you suffered losses as a result. Speeding may certainly be evidence of negligence, but – as you can see from the above – serious injuries can result even when the driver was complying with the law. To obtain monetary damages, you may need to rely on other forms of motorist negligence, such as:
- Failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk;
- Improper lane changes;
- Running red lights or stop signs; or,
- Distracted or drunk driving.
Our Miami Pedestrian Accidents Lawyers Will Handle the Legal Process
For more information on your rights and remedies, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA to speak with one of our pedestrian accident attorneys. We can set up a no-cost consultation to discuss your specific circumstances at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, FL.