Not even our most celebrated athletes are immune from tragedy, as this past weekend the NFL mourned the loss of promising young QB, Dwayne Haskins, a former Heisman finalist from Ohio State. The QB was training in South Florida with teammates when he was struck and killed by a dump truck early one Saturday morning.
Here, we look at what happened, the statistics around pedestrian deaths in Florida and Georgia, and how we handle these types of cases.
Accident Brief: What Happened to Dwayne Haskins?
According to various news outlets, Dwayne Haskins was preparing for the upcoming season by training with a few teammates in South Florida. Around 6:30am he was reportedly attempting to cross I-595 near the Fort Lauderdale airport when he was struck by a dump truck and pronounced dead on the scene by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP).
FHP spokeswoman Lt. Indiana Miranda is quoted by CBS News as describing the accident as currently an “open traffic homicide investigation,” led by the FHP. This means that resources from the FHP and possibly other law enforcement agencies will contribute toward figuring out exactly what led up to the accident taking place. Family, friends, teammates, fans, and others took to social media to grieve the loss of a future great. “I am devastated and at a loss for words with the unfortunate passing of Dwayne Haskins,” says Head Coach, Mike Tomlin in a published statement on the Steelers’ website.
Trends Around Pedestrian Deaths in Florida & Georgia
Florida and Georgia have a ton of appeal and a lot of places to visit. Atlanta, Savannah, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville—all of these big cities have big populations and invite lots of tourists every year. Statistically, the more vehicles there are, the greater the odds are for accidents to occur. When a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, the large mass and speed of the vehicle produces a tremendous amount of force. Even at low speed, pedestrian accidents can be absolutely devastating and easily kill or lead to lifelong injuries.
If you take into account population size, Florida ranked #2 in the nation for pedestrian fatality rates according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Per the report, Florida and Georgia saw nearly 1,000 pedestrians killed in a single year (713 pedestrians were killed in Florida and 236 in Georgia in 2019 alone). Taking a wider view, across the nation the fatality numbers for pedestrians are truly startling—more than 6,500 pedestrians died in 2019. These statistics highlight the extreme need for safer street designs, increased driver awareness, and advocates who aren’t afraid to pursue victims’ rights to the highest courts if that’s what’s necessary to hold those accountable after an accident.
How We Handle These Types of Cases
Florida has some pretty strict laws concerning pedestrian safety. If a pedestrian is in a marked crosswalk, Florida Statute 316.130 says that vehicles must yield the right of way (stop) and let the pedestrian pass. Even if there isn’t signage present, Florida law says a driver needs to be mindful of pedestrians. Unfortunately, pedestrians are struck, injured, and killed every year even while utilizing a crosswalk but there are many other causes that our team looks into as we handle pedestrian traffic accident cases.
Some of the many possible causes that we’ll investigate include:
- Distracted Driving
- Improper Roadway Engineering
- Unsafe Conditions/Poor Maintenance
- Vehicle Malfunction
- And many other forms of negligence
Whether we need a traffic expert to recreate what led to an accident or a professional engineer to look over the roadway plans, we have the resources to investigate every aspect of our client’s case. “One of our greatest strengths is that we don’t put budgets on cases,” says Senior Partner Chuck Farah. “This means we can utilize whatever resource is required to build a rock solid case and seek the absolute maximum compensation for pedestrians injured in an accident.”
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and an opportunity to all pledge to practice safer driving habits. For pedestrians, you must be extra mindful as you walk near or on a roadway with vehicles for your own safety.
According to the NHTSA pedestrians should always:
- Obey traffic signals and other rules of the road.
- Always use a sidewalk if it’s available. If there isn’t one, walk in a direction that faces traffic and is as far away from the roadway as possible.
- Always use crosswalks or intersections with traffic signals. Watch for cars in all directions before crossing.
- Stick to well-lit roadways, especially if there isn’t a crosswalk.
- Even parking lots are dangerous and all pedestrians should keep an eye out for cars backing up, pulling in, and driving around. Parking garages tend to be darker which can make it harder to see.
Hit By a Car While Walking? Let’s Talk About Your Options.
What makes pedestrian accidents particularly devastating is that cars and trucks weigh thousands of pounds. Put thousands of pounds of metal in motion and it generates a lot of force. That force is directly transferred to the pedestrian if they are struck. If you or a loved one had to go through such an ordeal, it’s time to talk to our accident attorneys in Florida and Georgia.
You can call us right now at 855-848-6058, open a chat window on our site, or even request a callback to have a quick conversation. We’ll listen to what happened, review the details, and outline all your available options completely free of charge.