Another life was lost on a Tampa Bay Area street this morning when an elderly man, who was reported to be using a walker, attempted to cross 4th Street at 114th Ave N in St. Pete at about 6:15 AM this morning. As of the time of the posting, the southbound lanes are still closed with police continuing to investigate the incident. The St. Petersburg Police Department has asked drivers to avoid the area.

This is yet another tragic example of how very dangerous our area roadways are, especially for pedestrians but also for everyone in a motor vehicle. It’s obvious to everyone traveling anywhere in the area that traffic is heavy on all of our thoroughfares. It’s the peak of tourist season in an area with an ever increasing population. That’s a surefire combination for crowded streets and highways.

We at The Ruth Law Team have certainly seen more than our share of the painful aftermath of pedestrian accidents in addition to automobile, motorcycle, and truck accidents. With our main office located on Fourth Street N in St. Pete, we see both motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents almost daily. Unfortunately this street seems to be yet another dangerous roadway in within our city, and oftentimes these accidents are completely avoidable.

While we work hard to help folks recover financially from what can be a devastating loss, often the physical and emotional effects linger for a lifetime. We are sincere in urging you to drive and walk with using the utmost caution and thinking defensively. Most accidents could be prevented by following 3 simple rules:

  1. Slow down! Speed limits aren’t just guidelines. They’re the law—not just a suggestion–and put in place for a reason. Know the limit and stay within it.
  2. Avoid all distractions! This means preferably no cell-phone use. If you must talk on your phone, use a hands-free device. And NEVER text or surf the web while driving. No exceptions.
  3. Drive defensively!
    • Watch ahead and try to anticipate what other drivers might do.
    • Leave plenty of space between you and the car ahead. This could minimize damage in the event of a sudden stop or if you are hit from behind, and it may save your life.
    • When you feel anger towards another driver, let that be a warning to you to remove yourself from the situation and regain emotional control. Road rage NEVER helps and generally hurts everyone involved.
    • Instead of aggressive driving (it’s a roadway, not a raceway!), practice courteous driving. The more we pay it forward, the safer and more enjoyable driving will be for all of us.

You can’t change the driving habits of others on the roadway, but you can take responsibility for yourself. The more we all embrace this philosophy, the safer our streets will be for everyone.

Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of the pedestrian who tragically lost his life this morning.