Biking or walking to work is becoming more common throughout the United States. In fact, the amount of people who bike to work has increased by 60.8 percent since 2008 and continues to increase. This is also true for the Jacksonville area, but recent statistics indicate that the city is particularly unsafe for people who get around by walking or biking.
According to a 2014 study performed by Smart Growth America, the Jacksonville metropolitan area was ranked third in the nation in pedestrian deaths in the time period from 2003 to 2012. There were 359 total pedestrian deaths in that time period.
This data is consistent with information presented in a 2013 report prepared by the Florida Department of Transportation, which indicates a rise in pedestrian accidents in Duval County from 2012 to 2013. During that time, accidents went up by eight percent, injuries increased by 14 percent and deaths increased by 10 percent. Bicycling injuries and deaths had a slight drop, but remain at levels that are higher than average for the rest of the country.
To respond to these concerning figures, Jacksonville established the Bicycling and Pedestrian Safety Coalition Campaign last fall. It features a collaboration of the Mayor’s Office, the City Council, concerned groups around the city and more to figure out a way to make the city’s sidewalks and roads safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. Research shows there is a lot of work to do to make the city safer, but this coalition campaign is at least a step in the right direction.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, you may have the ability to receive compensation through a personal injury claim. Contact an experienced Jacksonville personal injury lawyer to learn more about your options.
Attorney Mark Link contributed to this blog post.