In a Florida community a couple of hours north of the Tampa Bay area, the driver of a semitrailer that crashed into a parked school bus full of children was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison. The accident took place in 2014 and injured seven children and the driver of the bus. The 37-year old truck driver recently pleaded guilty to four counts of reckless driving with serious bodily injury but blamed the trucking company for failing to properly maintain the truck.
Every year, thousands of motorists are killed in accidents across the country. Many of these accidents are caused by impaired or distracted driving. Most people recognize the dangers of drinking and driving due to government enforcement programs, as well as public awareness campaigns. More recently, awareness of the dangers of texting and using smart phones while driving has been on the rise. However, there is one type of impaired driving that many people have probably participated in that they may not even be aware of, and that is driving while sleep deprived.
Unfortunately, impaired driving is a costly problem. Each year, it leads to injuries, deaths, property damage and arrests. During 2010, an estimated 4 million adults reported driving while impaired, which led to millions of drunk driving-related incidents. Drunk driving-related accidents resulted in nearly 14,000 deaths annually, at an estimated cost to Americans of greater than $37 billion each year.
Florida pedestrian safety, unfortunately, can sometimes be a polarizing topic between pro and anti-car groups. It is, however, a legitimate public safety concern that has implications for quality of life as we are all pedestrians at one point or another. A variety of sensible traffic reforms have been suggested throughout the country to help keep pedestrians safe. One way to improve pedestrian safety is by removing the last parking space before an intersection. The practice, referred to as "daylighting," increases visibility for and of pedestrians.