Auto accidents can happen at any time in Florida with people suffering catastrophic injuries and death. While anyone who takes to the road in any capacity is vulnerable, some are at greater risk than others. This includes children, the elderly and handicapped people. Due to the lack of protection pedestrians have, an auto-pedestrian accident can inflict significant damage to those who are hit. Recently, there has been a troubling spike in accidents involving an automobile and wheelchair-bound pedestrians. This happened in various areas close to Lakeland making it important that residents in that community and throughout the Sunshine State be cognizant of the potential dangers.
Five wheelchair fatalities in six weeks stokes concern
In several local communities, people in wheelchairs have lost their lives in auto collisions at a worrisome rate in recent weeks. The circumstances have varied with crosswalk use, right of way and other factors. The sudden spate of wheelchair accidents and fatalities came as a surprise since there had been none since February. This highlights the possibility of an auto-pedestrian crash costing lives in Florida. The latest statistics from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said that through 2019, there were 120 annual pedestrian fatalities in Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
Overall, a Smart Growth America report says that Florida is the state with the highest rate of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. Since Florida is a state in which many elderly people live, the statistics show that a large proportion of those killed are 75 and older. People 50 and older are also at high risk. Regarding the wheelchair crashes, the youngest of the five people who were recently killed was 59. Drivers are increasingly distracted, drive at excessive speeds, are reckless, drowsy or under the influence. Combining that with road design that may not be as safe as it could be and the pieces are in place for pedestrian accidents with tragic consequences.
Pedestrian auto accidents must be fully investigated with experienced help
It is difficult enough to have a loved one who needs a wheelchair to get around. Even if they are relatively independent and get out on their own, the fear that there will be motor vehicle accidents is always looming. With the recent number of wheelchair accidents, it is important for people to take preventative steps to remain safe. If a collision does happen and a person is severely injured or loses their life, it is imperative to know the available options. For long-term care, medical costs and other concerns, having assistance can be essential to assess the situation and determine a path forward.