Pedestrian Safety Statistics
There have been startling statistics released regarding the number of pedestrian fatalities over the last decade. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reported that between 2008 and 2017 the number of pedestrian fatalities increased by 35%. In 2017, 92 people died while walking on Phoenix streets. A pedestrian accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ may be able to advise and represent collision victims.
Interestingly, pedestrian fatalities decreased in 9 out of the 10 largest cities in the US. Six of those cities that saw a decrease in fatalities have been participating in a program called Vision Zero. Between 2016-2017, New York City, San Jose, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Antonio, and San Diego each saw a reduction in pedestrian fatalities.
Vision Zero describes itself as a holistic, systematic approach toward transportation. It uses a data-driven approach to focus on the factors believed to be important to traffic safety. Three significant factors considered by Vision Zero and the GHSA are unsafe speeds, dark roadways, and vehicle design.
Two of Vision Zero’s principles include:
- Low-cost, low-tech solutions should be implemented right away. There are potential solutions such as redesigned roadways, new sidewalks and curb extensions that have been proven to lower speeds and reduce traffic collisions.
- We need to acknowledge human error and plan for system changes to lessen the severity of people’s mistakes. Vision Zero endorses automated speed enforcement and breath alcohol ignition interlock devices to slow drivers down and prevent drinking and driving.
A pedestrian accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ will investigate the cause of the collision, and consult with, or hire experts that may be needed.
The Phoenix City Council recently considered implementing components of a Vision Zero plan to improve the safety of pedestrians. The Phoenix City Council deadlocked 4-4 on the proposal. The effort stalled in part over worries about city resources.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) has a three pronged approach to improving pedestrian safety that includes engineering, education, and enforcement.
Some engineering actions recommended are well connected sidewalks installed around transit stops so that public transportation users will not have to walk in the street while getting to and from their stop. They also suggest implanting a “universal design” where the needs of all potential users including those with physical or mental limitations are taken into account. Sidewalks should be wide enough to accommodate the volume of pedestrians in an area, so that people are not forced to walk in the street or take other routes.
Buffers between traffic and pedestrians are also recommended. Grass strips or even on-street parking can serve as a buffer between pedestrians and moving vehicles. The FHA also believes that well marked crosswalks with median islands help pedestrians to stay safer.
Some case studies have used a combination of increased enforcement and education to help improve pedestrian safety. Washington, DC has used the Street Smart Campaign to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety. Each spring they increase the enforcement of pedestrian-related traffic laws for one month, while also conducting a pedestrian safety media campaign. They have seen an improvement in drivers yielding to pedestrians and a reduction in jaywalking.
A pedestrian accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ should be consulted following a collision, there should be no fee for the confidential consultation. Call the office of Paul Englander today.