Pedestrians are the most vulnerable people on roadways because they have literally no protection against a collision. Injuries can be severe and devastating. Pedestrian safety is a critical aspect of urban planning and transportation management. As cities grow and traffic congestion increases, keeping pedestrians safe should be a top priority.
If you or a loved one was injured by a vehicle while walking, please contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney for help. A pedestrian injury lawyer is your best bet for negotiating a full and fair settlement.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Thousands of pedestrians are hit by cars every year. Sadly, pedestrian motor vehicle crash deaths have increased by 80 percent since reaching their low point in 2009 and account for 17 percent of crash fatalities. In 2021 alone, data from IIHS.org shows that 7,388 pedestrians were killed in traffic collisions.
The Role of Infrastructure in Pedestrian Safety
Infrastructure plays a key role in improving pedestrian safety. Well-designed crosswalks, clear signage, good lighting, and effective traffic calming measures such as refuge islands can all encourage a harmonious coexistence between pedestrians and vehicles.
Well-designed infrastructure takes into account factors such as visibility, proper lighting, and accessibility, enhancing overall safety for individuals with different mobility needs. These features provide a structured and organized framework for pedestrian movement, reducing the risk of collisions with vehicles:
- Crosswalks, when strategically placed at intersections and high-traffic areas, offer designated paths for pedestrians to cross roads safely.
- Clear and visible pedestrian signals with effective timing can help regulate traffic flow, indicating when it’s safe to cross and when vehicles should yield to pedestrians.
- Sidewalks reduce the risk of pedestrian crashes by half, as they separate cars from people walking on foot.
- Curb extensions (bulb-outs) at intersections and crossing points shorten the distance that pedestrians need to travel on the road and provide space for pedestrians to stand in better view of approaching vehicles.
- Pedestrian bridges are a great way to provide secure passage for people of all ages and abilities by segregating foot traffic from vehicular traffic.
- A pedestrian refuge island (also called a crossing island or pedestrian island) is a median with a refuge area. Its purpose is to help protect pedestrians who are crossing a multilane road.
- Better lighting and beacons that alert drivers to stop at crosswalks when pedestrians are present can also be effective ways to protect pedestrians.
These elements contribute significantly to the predictability of pedestrian behavior for both pedestrians and drivers, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings and potential accidents. By creating a cohesive and user-friendly pedestrian environment, cities can encourage safer habits among all road users. Moreover, well-designed crosswalks and pedestrian infrastructure enhance the overall walkability of a city, promoting active and sustainable modes of transportation.
Do Red Light Cameras Increase Traffic and Pedestrian Safety?
The presence of red-light cameras can serve as a deterrent, encouraging motorists to adhere to traffic signals and follow the rules. This, in turn, may contribute to a decrease in accidents caused by red light violations. However, critics suggest that the effectiveness of red-light cameras is not consistently proven, and there are concerns about their potential to increase rear-end collisions as drivers may abruptly stop to avoid a ticket. While some studies show positive results in terms of safety improvements, the overall impact varies, and the implementation of red-light cameras should be part of a broader, well-planned approach to traffic management and safety.
Other Ways Cities Can Improve Pedestrian Safety
Education campaigns also play a crucial role in raising awareness about the importance of following traffic rules and respecting pedestrian rights. Initiatives like creating pedestrian-friendly zones and promoting alternative modes of transportation contribute to fostering a safer environment for those who choose to navigate cities on foot. Ultimately, prioritizing pedestrian safety not only enhances the overall well-being of communities but also promotes sustainable and inclusive urban development.
Seek the help of a pedestrian injury lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced pedestrian injury attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!