Crossing the road as a pedestrian comes with inherent risks. This is especially true if you must cross in an area of high traffic without crosswalks. When this happens, drivers may have difficulty anticipating when pedestrians will attempt to cross, which can lead to devastating accidents.
To help reduce the occurrence of pedestrian accidents, many areas have implemented the use of pedestrian bridges, which are fixed over the road. While the purpose of the structures is to provide safety from being hit by a vehicle for pedestrians, there is some debate regarding if the bridges have created a whole new set of risks.
If you are involved in an accident as a pedestrian, be sure to contact a pedestrian accident lawyer immediately. At Fetterman & Associates, PA, we can review the facts of your case and help you recover the compensation you are entitled to.
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Pedestrian Bridges Defined
A pedestrian bridge is a unique structure designed to divert pedestrian traffic, including bicyclists, from interfering with the flow of motor vehicle traffic. Unfortunately, the accessibility and appearance of these pedestrian bridges often have the opposite result.
This has been seen in instances where streets have pedestrian bridges rather than crosswalks on street level. The unexpected presence of these bridges and a negligent driver can have a tragic outcome. If you are injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent driver, contact a personal injury lawyer to help determine liability. The attorney you hire can also help you seek monetary compensation for the losses you sustain.
Are Pedestrian Bridges a Smart Solution for Florida Roadways?
Many Floridians decide to walk every day. Others have no choice but to walk due to an area’s limited public transportation options. Some have attributed this to the prioritization of cars in the state since the roadways are designed to benefit motor vehicles.
Florida constantly ranks near the top regarding dangerous areas for pedestrians, which further illustrates the issue in the state. In a perfect world, pedestrian bridges installed near highways and in downtown areas should alleviate potential dangers to pedestrians by providing safety and convenience. Unfortunately, these bridges often fall short of expectations.
The Problem with Defective Pedestrian Bridges
In 2018, a pedestrian bridge collapsed at Florida International University. The debris from the structure caused several fatalities and put public safety at risk. Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident.
Due to the risks presented by pedestrian bridges, officials and organizations are advocating for a shift from a focus on motorists to one on pedestrians. While this is true, pedestrians have to take the risk that these bridges present, and only after a tragedy occurs can they seek compensation for their losses.
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Accessibility Issues with Pedestrian Bridges
Even when pedestrian bridges are constructed properly, they still have issues and drawbacks. An elevated pedestrian bridge is usually designed with a steep or long ramp or stairway. This creates a hazard for anyone trying to get across traffic safely.
This is especially true for the elderly or disabled who use mobility aids. They are often hesitant to use the bridges, especially when wet, due to fears of traction issues.
It is not just disabled and elderly that have concerns. Students at the University of Florida are hesitant to use a pedestrian bridge spanning I-75 due to “shoddy construction.” This has resulted in many students riding bikes or walking along the side of the highway, which further increases the risk of pedestrian accidents.
Related Article: Do Pedestrians Always Have The Right Of Way?
Nighttime Hazards of Using Pedestrian Bridges
Another problem with pedestrian bridges is their use at night. Many people, particularly females, feel unsafe using these dark bridges that are often hidden from public view. The possibility of being attacked, mugged, or even sexually assaulted is real. As a result, at night, when pedestrian accidents are even more likely, these bridges are avoided.
Your Rights After a Florida Pedestrian Accident
If you are the victim of a pedestrian accident in Florida, you have rights. At Fetterman & Associates, PA, our legal team is dedicated to helping accident victims recover the compensation they are entitled to. We will investigate the accident scene, gather evidence, and ensure the responsible party is held accountable.
As a top accident lawyer in the state, you can feel confident that we will fight for your rights and ensure you get the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.