Metroplan Orlando announced this week that it is launching a comprehensive program to educate Central Florida drivers about how to avoid pedestrians and the often fatal accidents that occur when automobiles collide with pedestrians. This effort should be congratulated and supported in any way possible. Metroplan Orlando’s own study estimates that there is one automobile versus pedestrian fatility each week in the Orange County, Seminole County, and Osceola County metropolitan area. In fact, just yesterday a woman in a wheelchair was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver.
Local law enforcement obviously supports this effort, and recognize that it is a difficult undertaking to remind drivers to look out for people crossing the roadway at busy intersections and heavy commercial areas. According to law enforcement statistics the most dangerous roadways for pedestrians are Semoran Boulevard just east of Highway 50, Highway 50 in Orlando, and Orange Blossom Trail in Kissimmee and Orlando.
Although sometimes pedestrians are at fault for crossing against traffic lights, or crossing in impermissible locations, many of today’s drivers are too distracted by cellular telephones, texting, and even surfing the internet on their phones. In our experience, this increasing level of driver distraction is a contributing reason why automobile versus pedestrian fatalities are on the rise.