In the last week alone, there have been two crashes with pedestrians on Del Prado Boulevard in Cape Coral; one was deadly, and the pedestrian involved in the other crash is currently fighting for his life. Driving comes with a number of distractions, but your cell phone is one of the major causes of incidents like these.
The National Road Safety Foundation says the number of people killed on U.S highways and roads in 2021 was the highest it’s been in 14 years: more than 46,000 people. NRSF also says Florida is the third-most dangerous state to drive in, but phones are not the only major factor when it comes to distracted driving; eating, talking to passengers and playing with the stereo can all lead to accidents if you’re not careful.
“Last year, throughout the state of Florida, 3,629 people were killed in traffic crashes that include pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers and passengers;” said Davids Reich with NRSF. “The disturbing news is that’s up 10% from the previous year.”
In the accident on Del Prado on March 30, a woman was killed after four cars hit her. This week, another vehicle-versus-pedestrian crash occurred on the same stretch of road. Diana Giraldo, a member of the Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Board for Fort Myers who has been hit by a car twice, says she is pushing for cities to have more safety measures and lights because the number of vehicle-versus-pedestrian accidents should be zero.
“I was crossing at a marked intersection, there was a stop sign… when you’re crossing an intersection, make sure you give eye contact with the driver,” Giraldo said. “If you don’t give eye contact, chances are they didn’t see you. This person was looking forward; I felt like we had eye contact, but his phone was in front of him. When he took off, he hit me, but I was able to bounce off of the hood of his car.”
Experts say: Put the cell phone down, avoid any distractions and focus on the road. It’s always better to just be a few minutes late if necessary.