Inverness Faces Roadway Safety Issues, Pedestrian Concerns
Since 2017, Inverness has witnessed an unusually high number of pedestrian accidents, particularly on several busy streets, according to a recent article by the Citrus County Chronicle. These roads have seen more collisions than others in Central Florida, highlighting the significant dangers pedestrians encounter in Inverness.
"It's a highly trafficked road, and this situation is unlikely to change for various reasons," said Jaimison Sloboden from Michael Baker International, in an interview with the Citrus County Chronicle about a traffic safety study being done by his organization commissioned by the City of Inverness.
Heavy traffic results in more accidents
Heavy traffic significantly contributes to increased accident rates. The recent traffic study in Inverness has pinpointed its focus on two major highways, State Road 44 and U.S. Highway 41, both of which pass through the area.
According to the Citrus County Chronicle, these roads witness an average daily traffic volume of 35,000 to 40,000 vehicles. As a direct consequence of this high traffic volume, there has been a notable rise in car accidents on these routes in Inverness.
Between 2017 and 2021, the SR 44 corridor registered an average of 3.76 car accidents per million vehicle miles (MVM), surpassing the state average of 2.35 MVM. Consequently, Inverness experiences, on average, 28 more accidents annually on these roads compared to the average state road.
Pedestrian accidents a problem in Inverness
Pedestrian safety is a significant concern in Inverness, prompting the request for a traffic safety study. The recent Citrus County Chronicle article delves into this issue, emphasizing the need to enhance "pedestrian safety and facilitate safer foot travel."
Notably, Inverness has a substantial population of senior citizens, who often require more time to cross the road safely, leading to individuals getting stranded in what is referred to as the 'suicide lanes.'
However, the pedestrian safety challenge isn't unique to Inverness, as Florida continues to grapple with being one of the deadliest states for pedestrians nationwide. In 2022, Florida witnessed an alarming 822 pedestrian fatalities, earning the state the third-highest pedestrian fatality rate per capita in the country, as reported by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
How to improve pedestrian safety in Inverness
Traffic safety officials have proposed several recommendations aimed at enhancing safety for pedestrians in Inverness, including:
- Extending the duration of pedestrian walk times at existing traffic signals.
- Introducing a "Z Crossing" approach, allowing pedestrians to cross to the median within an intersection and subsequently take a brief walk to the opposite corner. This arrangement provides a safe refuge, as highlighted by Sloboden in an interview with the Citrus County Chronicle.
- Constructing a pedestrian bridge to ensure safe pedestrian passage.
Hit by a car in Central Florida? Protect your rights with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer
Pedestrian accidents in Inverness and other nearby communities in Central Florida often quickly become complicated legal cases due to the complex factors involved, such as determining liability, assessing the extent of injuries, and navigating insurance claims.
To an insurance company, an injured pedestrian is just a liability that could result in a costly payout. As a result, insurance companies often use different tactics to minimize their financial responsibility and reduce the compensation offered to victims. They may dispute liability, downplay the severity of injuries, or put pressure on injured pedestrians to accept lowball settlements.
Navigating these challenges can be overwhelming for victims and their families. That's why it's crucial to have an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer by your side. At the Law Offices of Brent C. Miller, P.A., our team of Central Florida pedestrian accident attorneys is committed to fighting for the rights of injured pedestrians and helping them secure the compensation they deserve.
If you or a loved one was hit by a car in Inverness or anywhere in Central Florida, contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your potential legal options. Our offices are in Tavares, Inverness, Clermont, and The Villages.