Pedestrians are usually at a disadvantage when walking alongside or crossing roads. If you are frequently on foot, it may even seem like pedestrians were an afterthought during the design process. Considering that pedestrian crashes are becoming frighteningly common, that feeling just might be correct.
In early 2019, the Kansas City police department released data that demonstrates just how dangerous 2018 was for pedestrians. Over the course of that year, there were 360 accidents involving pedestrians. That is one accident for almost every day of the year.
A new record
According to city data collected over the course of four years, 2018 had the highest number of pedestrian collisions. There were also 22 pedestrian fatalities that same year. Unfortunately, this also set a record high for pedestrian death rates from 2015 to 2018. This information paints a clear picture, and it shows that pedestrians are not safe.
The risk of being involved in an accident will be different depending on where you are walking. Although motor vehicles can hit pedestrians virtually anywhere, the vast majority of 2018’s pedestrian accidents happened at just three intersections. Police believe that poor road design as well as driver behavior in those areas are to blame.
Is there a solution?
Authorities are trying out road diets at the dangerous intersections and the surrounding areas. A road diet reduces how many lanes are available to drivers. This has many benefits for pedestrians and even some for cars.
For example, since there are fewer lanes, diets force people behind the wheel to drive more slowly and engage in safer driving habits. Driving at a more reasonable speed limit lowers the risk of collision. Road diets also decrease the number of lanes that pedestrians have to cross. This means less time that pedestrians have to spend in lanes intended for vehicle use.
The problem is widespread
Drivers and pedestrians alike might be disappointed to learn that cars are increasingly hitting and killing people in Kansas City. Sadly, the problem is much bigger than just a single city or even the state of Missouri. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the number of pedestrian deaths all across America are rising and they have been since 2009. Even though things like road diets seem to help, these are only temporary strategies that will not fix any long term problems.
If you already understand just how bad this problem is because of your own accident and injury, then you know that getting better is not easy. However, you do have options for addressing your physical, emotional and financial damages, such as filing a personal injury suit. Many victims who were injured in pedestrian crashes find that working with an experienced attorney during this process is easier than doing so alone.