Among the deadliest roads for pedestrians are suburban arteries – wide high speed roads that weave through commercial and residential neighborhoods. Traveling around the Des Moines metro area, there are many of these dangerous suburban arteries where pedestrians are at higher risk of being struck by a car, truck or bus.
According to one study, traffic engineers generally time lights to allow pedestrian crossings at a pace of 3.5 feet per second, but many people including the elderly or families with children lag behind that pace. Because the timing on lights is too short, pedestrians attempting to cross streets run out of time and become stranded in the middle of oncoming traffic.
The situation is more dangerous still when considering that too many drivers are on their phones while driving. Most experts agree that the increase in pedestrian deaths can be attributed to distracted driving which is largely a problem of drivers texting or engaging in other activities on their phones while behind the wheel.
Drive on any evening down the commercial area of MLK Parkway in West Des Moines and you will not only see considerable traffic but cars driving at higher speeds on the multi-lane road. Go to SW 9th on the south side of town and cars wiz by the schools, businesses and homes at a high rate of speed. Pedestrians attempting to cross roads in theses are stand a much greater risk of being struck by a speeding motorist who may not have time to react if a pedestrian is in the crosswalk.
Until pedestrian friendly road design and stricter enforcement of distracted drivers and speeding motorists is a reality, pedestrians will remain at higher risk so it is important pedestrians to exercise extreme caution when crossing the road – never assume a motorist sees you – and drivers must eliminate distractions, slow down and keep an eye out for crossing pedestrians.
If you or a loved one is injured in a pedestrian accident, contact the personal injury lawyers of Stoltze & Stoltze for immediate assistance at 515-244-1473.