Pedestrian Fatality on I-75 Not a Freak Incident – Gainesville and Ocala Accident Attorney Explains Why
With the start of vacation season around the corner, it is time to be prepared for roadway emergencies.
As an example, in February of this year, a man from Summerfield, Florida pulled his Volkswagen “Bug” over on the shoulder of I-75 southbound near the State Road 200 exit ramp in an attempt to fix his stalled vehicle. While the man was repairing his car, an approaching pickup truck traveling south on I-75 veered off the road and struck and killed him. The impact also knocked the VW from the shoulder into the right and center lanes of the highway.
This accident serves as a chilling reminder of how dangerous highway traveling can be. We usually do not associate pedestrian fatalities in auto accidents with highway travel, but it is more common than we may think. Pedestrian fatalities on Interstates have claimed an average of 610 lives each year since 1989. Nearly ten percent of all the nation's pedestrian fatalities occur on Interstate highways, even though the Interstate system comprises only one percent of the nation's total road mileage. Furthermore, twelve percent of all Interstate traffic fatalities are pedestrians. These are alarming numbers, especially given that pedestrians are legally restricted from entering highways in Florida and all but ten states.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently compiled a report to study what pedestrians are doing on the Interstates and what factors are contributing to these crashes and deaths. The study reviewed and analyzed 400 police accident reports over a three year period dealing with Interstate pedestrian fatalities.
The report states among the findings that nearly one-third of the crashes from the sample involved "unintended pedestrians": people pushing or working on a vehicle, involved in a previous crash, or walking on the shoulder--all situations in which the average motorist could be involved. Forty percent of the crashes involved pedestrians crossing or entering a lane of traffic. These cases usually involved people exhibiting irrational or suicidal behavior, or simply trying to travel the shortest distance from one location to another. Less than 3 percent of pedestrians in the sample were hitch-hiking. The victim in the February accident falls into the “unintended pedestrian” category, as he was working on his car on the freeway’s shoulder when he was struck.
The AAA report further states that in cases in which the pedestrian was struck on the shoulder of the Interstate, inattentive, impaired, or drowsy driving was often a factor. The driver who struck and killed the pedestrian on February 16 suffered a diabetic reaction while driving, which caused him to lose control of his pickup and drive onto the shoulder.
These frightening statistics show just how dangerous Interstate driving can be both on and off the road. If you absolutely must pull over to the shoulder on an Interstate, make sure to move as far away from the traveling lane as possible and park beyond the shoulder in the grass if possible. Furthermore, be aware when driving on the Interstate of not just what is in front of you but also to the sides.
For more information on what to do if your vehicle breaks down on the highway, please see,
When your vehicle breaks down on the Highway...
Category: Car and Motorcycle Accidents
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