Pedestrian safety in spotlight

Image courtesy Google

There have been more than three dozen bicyclists and pedestrians seriously injured or killed after being hit by cars in Leon County this year.

Andy Woeber, who walks to lunch three times a week, says he has to flag down cars for his safety. Woeber believes his safety as a pedestrian should always be important.

“Being observant of your surroundings and being sure that drivers are paying attention and making sure they are not on their phone. What I do is try to wave them down because sometimes they may be on their phone,” Woeber said.

Those who bike or walk should make themselves visible at all times, according to law enforcement. When crossing the street at night, pedestrians should wear reflective clothing, stay in well-lit areas, and make eye contact with drivers.

While pedestrian safety is important, sometimes it’s not easy to prevent an accident.

A 13-year-old boy was fatally struck and killed recently at the intersection of Blair Stone and St Augustine roads. Police are still investigating the accident and haven’t made any arrests.

This is believed to be the latest fatal accident involving cars and people who are walking or biking.

According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Leon County has had a total of 170 pedestrian crashes, with 10 of them fatal. Maria Diaz from the American Safety Institute says that both drivers and pedestrians need to be vigilant. Diaz has been at the American Safety Institute for years, and she says she’s noticed that the majority of drivers do not use turn signals and often drive carelessly.

“Take your time no speeding, no driving under the influence, pedestrians that include you too. Don’t be distracted and pay attention to your surroundings,” Diaz said.

It is important to ensure pedestrian safety to prevent serious injuries and deaths caused by accidents. Both drivers and pedestrians are put at risk when stepping outside. It is always advisable for drivers to stay off their phones and pay attention while behind the wheel.

As for pedestrians, it is important always to remain aware of your surroundings.

When driving in school zones and neighborhood areas with children, drivers should follow slower speed limits, allow pedestrians to cross at crosswalks and stop far enough back to give other vehicles a chance to see them.

According to the American Safety Institute, both drivers and pedestrians are often to blame for fatal crashes. There should be a sense of awareness of one another among Leon County drivers and pedestrians. It is recommended that pedestrians do not cross in the middle of a block since they are one of several places where accidents can occur.