Road safety is always a major topic in Florida. To that end, state agencies – including planners – try to get input from residents about what they see from the ground up. That includes the frequency of drivers taking part in risky behaviors and placing themselves and others in jeopardy. Because auto accidents are such a common cause of injury and death, this is essential when making changes. Recently, a survey was conducted about transportation in Central Florida. It yielded somewhat surprising and contradictory results that anyone who takes to the road in any capacity should be aware of.
Distracted driving and other road issues discussed in survey
MetroPlan Orlando commissioned a survey of an estimated 3,000 area people regarding the roads, potential problems and strategies to enhance safety. Distracted driving is a frequent catalyst for auto accidents and a great many people are unable to resist the temptation to check their cellphones and take part in other distracting behaviors when behind the wheel. This is true despite a law against handheld cellphone use. The study showed that 12% said they felt it was acceptable to text and drive on clear roadways.
The survey also showed transportation tendencies in the state. Eighty-two percent stated that they drove often; 28% preferred to walk; ridesharing services were used by 12%; 11% were bicyclists; and the remainder used public transport. A key finding was that even with the belief that electric scooters are overwhelmingly popular, only 3% are using them.
Pedestrian safety was a focus as 96% said that it should be a priority with new transportation planning projects. More than half of bicyclists stated they were concerned about sharing the road with cars for safety reasons. For pedestrians, that was 36%. Another 36% said the sidewalks were not sufficient and 27% expressed worry about walk signals at crosswalks. Speeding is a common denominator for many collisions and the survey provided troubling responses about it. One-third stated it was acceptable to speed on empty roads and 19% regularly drive between 10 and 25-mph above the speed limit.
The aftermath of an auto accident can cause extensive challenges
This survey provided some fear-inducing responses. People might have had a basic understanding of the chance of personal injury and fatalities due to driver behavior before, but this emphasizes how certain drivers believe it is perfectly fine to act recklessly. When there is an accident, there may be medical costs, lost income and inordinate problems that can be difficult to overcome. Having advice from the start can provide answers about the available steps and help with moving forward.