Causative Factors and Trends in Florida Pedestrian Crashes

Source: Transportation Research Board

"A case study review of 353 fatal pedestrian crashes that occurred in Florida, primarily in the year 2000, identified contributing causes and trends among predominant pedestrian crash types. Researchers reviewed state records, traffic crash reports, traffic homicide investigative report narratives, diagrams, and photographs, and incorporated select accident reconstructions and site visits. Results indicate that the most significant causes of pedestrian crashes are pedestrian behavior, alcohol use by pedestrians and drivers, poor pedestrian visibility at night coupled with violation of driver expectation, and lack of compliance with state laws. Some form of pedestrian behavior was the primary contributing factor in over three-fourths of the pedestrian crashes reviewed. Alcohol use, by either the pedestrian or driver, was determined as the primary factor in 45% of cases. Where alcohol use was determinable, 69% of pedestrians crossing not in crosswalks were under the influence. Dark conditions or insufficient lighting was a contributing factor in 60% of cases. In nearly half of the noncrosswalk crossing cases, pedestrians were attempting to cross the road within 600 feet of a traffic signal, many times violating driver expectation and right-of-way. Other factors were detected within a specific type of pedestrian crash; for instance, in half of the 15% of cases that occurred on limited access facilities, a significant contributing factor was the former occupant having exited a disabled vehicle. In 57% of the cases where a pedestrian was walking along the roadway, there was not a sidewalk for the pedestrian to use. Further research into countermeasures is recommended."

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