Added Disadvantages for Pedestrians and Cyclists
America’s transportation system generally does not take the needs and safety of pedestrians and cyclists into account. Less than Hundreds of millions of federal dollars allocated to states for walking and biking infrastructure is diverted to road projects for motorists, while tens of millions of dollars in federal funding for walking and biking project is simply lost because it is not spent in time, according to Streets Blog. In Florida, less than half of one percent of transportation funding (state and federal) is spent on stand alone infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists according to Bike League. Due to a lack of funding, lack of road user rights for cyclists and pedestrians, and a bias against pedestrians and cyclists held by many drivers, lawmakers, and law enforcement, those on two feet or two motorless wheels are the victims of serious injuries and tragic fatalities much more frequently than those in cars.
What Cyclists and Pedestrians are Up Against
- Less visible than cars due to their size;
- No protection, such as airbags, steel roll cage, and seat belts, in a crash;
- Cyclists are placed off to the side of the road, leading to right hooks;
- Pedestrians are forced to cross busy intersections while cars are often turning;
- Pedestrians have very few crosswalks, essentially forcing them to” jay-walk;”
- Drivers often misjudge cyclists’ speed;
- Police are often biased against pedestrians and cyclists, which negatively affects the official accident report; and
- Many drivers who are biased against cyclists (and pedestrians) intentionally come close to cyclists or run them off the road.
Hit and Runs are at an All Time High, and Pedestrians and Cyclists are Paying the Price
In 2016, the year for the most recent data, 2,049 people were killed in hit and run collisions, which was a 62 percent increase from 2009. 2016 was the most deadly year on record for fatal hit and runs. While hit and runs or “fleeing the scene” collisions are at an all time high, according to AAA and ABC News, the victims often not in a car. Sixty-five percent of killed victims are pedestrians and cyclists, despite both of those groups accounting for just a small fraction of all road users—most Americans drive in cars and spend little time walking or riding. Twenty percent of all pedestrian deaths are caused in hit and runs, while only one percent of driver deaths are caused in hit and runs.
The answer to this vast difference between pedestrian/cyclist victim hit and runs versus driver hit and runs is pretty simple: the drivers who cause the crashes believe they can get away from a pedestrian or a cyclist. Moreover, the minimal or non-existent damage to their vehicle when they hit a person or cyclist makes it even easier to flee the scene than if they had damaged their car in a collision with another vehicle. Pedestrians and cyclists who are victims of hit and runs should seek emergency medical assistance, call 911, and if possible, ask any other drivers that witnessed the event to follow the driver who hit them to capture their license plate number and make/model of car.
Call Our Orlando Pedestrian and Cyclists Lawyers Today
Sadly, walking and riding your bike has not been more dangerous in decades than it is today. As driver fatalities decline, pedestrian and cyclist injuries and fatalities are rapidly rising. For help following an injury, call the Orlando pedestrian accident attorneys at the Payer Law today at 407-307-2979 to schedule a free consultation.