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Pedestrians and fatal accidents: 3 ways to reduce the risk of crashes in our communities.

On Behalf of | Jul 18, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that there were over 7,500 pedestrians killed by traffic accidents in 2022 alone. This number is the highest in decades.

These statistics have led many to call for change. But what can be done to address this growing problem? The following steps can help result in change in most communities throughout the country, whether rural or urban.

#1: Road structure

A recent report by NPR dug into the cause of pedestrian crashes and noted the high rate of pedestrian deaths is tied to an increase in the use of SUVs and roadways that are not designed to keep pedestrians safe. As a result, the report pushed for a need to address infrastructure issues.

Infrastructure changes that could help increase the safety of pedestrians include:

  • Use of sharp corners. Having a sharp corner instead of a round corner means drivers generally need to stop before making their turn. This makes it more likely both the driver and the pedestrian can avoid a potential crash.
  • Reduction of speed limits. Not surprisingly, forcing cars to go slower will also reduce the risk of an accident.
  • Efforts to adjust walking patterns. If one area is of particular concern, adjust the crosswalk or add more visibility to draw the driver’s attention like flashing lights and painted walking paths through the roadway.

Even small changes can help begin to address the larger problem. These smaller changes could include putting up a crosswalk sign or encouraging enforcement of existing laws.

#2: Education

The writers of G.I. Joe were on to something when they ended their show with a lesson for viewers and the tagline: “Knowing is half the battle.” Sharing information about the risk and safety measures that can help keep pedestrians out of harm’s way can go a long way towards reducing the rate of pedestrian accidents in our communities.

#3: Accountability

Holding those who fail to abide by traffic laws accountable for these tragic accidents can help deter others from making the same mistakes. This can be done through a combination of increased enforcement efforts and civil lawsuits. Civil lawsuits give the victims of these tragic accidents more than just funds to help cover the expenses resulting from the accident, they also give them the power to push for change by holding the responsible driver accountable for their actions.