More than 6,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic related accidents in 2018 alone. A recent study reveals that pedestrian fatalities are at their highest in 30 years – a pattern that has never been seen before. Nationally, overall traffic deaths fell 6 percent over the last decade, however pedestrian deaths increased a whopping 35 percent over the same period. Much of the increase is attributed to speeding, impaired driving or distracted driving, but few consider the lesser known problem of ‘poor infrastructure’ which makes navigating dangerous for pedestrians.
- Many pedestrian fatalities and injuries occur in the evening and nighttime hours when visibility is reduced. Improved lighting is seen as one solution that can make pedestrians safer when crossing the street.
- Sometime pedestrians are forced to cross busy streets where no crosswalks exist. Last year a Florida pedestrian was killed trying to cross an intersection with no crosswalk – the nearest one was a mile away. Installing more crosswalks and signage in areas where pedestrians typically cross can reduce pedestrian fatalities.
- Obstructions to walkways may funnel pedestrians to the roadway creating trouble spots. Poorly maintained sidewalks, construction or maintenance area obstructions or other problems that lead pedestrians onto the roadway can inadvertently cause pedestrian traffic accidents. Providing an alternate means to traverse trouble areas and ensuring that maintenance is carried out promptly is key to preventing pedestrian fatalities.
Engineers across the country are analyzing trouble spots to identify risk factors. Targeting improvements to risky areas are changes that can potentially save lives – better engineering of pedestrian walkways and crosswalks can improve safety outcomes. If you or a family member has been injured in a pedestrian traffic accident anywhere in Iowa, contact us online or by telephone at 515-244-1473 to arrange a free consultation.