A Gainesville skateboarder is in critical condition at UF Health after he was hit by a car last night, raising safety concerns for skateboarders in the area.
The accident took place in the Meadowbrook Golf Club neighborhood, near Interstate 75 and Northwest 39th Avenue. According to highway patrol, the driver tried to avoid the skateboarder, who was in the middle of Northwest 32nd Place, a residential road.
The driver involved has not been charged with any violations.
Raina Reid, of FreeRide Surf & Skate Shop, said safety should be a top concern for skateboarders.
“If you hit your head really hard, and you have major brain trauma, it’s not something you come back from,” Reid said.
According to the Gainesville Police Department, 87 pedestrian-related accidents have occurred within the last year.
Ben Tobias, GPD spokesman, said many of these accidents could be avoided.
Skaters in the Gainesville area typically use the city’s designated skate parks to ride on when they’re not on the road.
But when they are, officials said skateboarders should stay on sidewalks or keep close to the side of the road to avoid injury.
Tobias recommends that bicyclists and skaters wear a helmet and clothing that is brighter and more visible to drivers, such as reflective clothing.
“Walk and bicycle and skateboard as if your life depends on it,” he said, “because a lot of times it does.”