Several studies have concluded that American pedestrians are not getting any safer. The Governors Highway Safety Association noted that the number of pedestrians killed in 2017 actually reached its highest point in 33 years. Interestingly, other types of traffic deaths decreased.
Pedestrian deaths from five states comprise nearly half of all of the pedestrian deaths in the country. These states are California, Florida, Texas, New York, and Arizona. Arizona reported the most pedestrian deaths in the United States.
Since 2007, pedestrian deaths have increased by 27 percent. Other types of traffic deaths have decreased by 14 percent.
Other first world countries have seen larger drops in their traffic fatality numbers. Some experts have recommended specific changes to roads, such as roundabouts, better lighting, road diets, and curb extensions. The majority of accidents—75 percent—occur after the sun goes down.
Based on a publication from the National Transportation Safety Board, alcohol and speeding were the primary culprits responsible for the higher number of deaths. Some other experts also blame distracted driving.
The number of drivers who admit to texting while driving is alarming. Thousands of people are killed every year due to distracted driving. Many pedestrians also fail to pay attention to their surroundings, staring down at their phones while using a crosswalk instead of looking ahead. Many pedestrians also use headphones while they walk around, which can also be distracting.
Some cities, such as San Francisco and New York, have implemented Vision Zero programs. The results of the programs in these two cities have been promising so far. The goal of Vision Zero programs is to completely eliminate the number of traffic deaths in a given area. However, some Vision Zero programs, such as the one in Los Angeles, have not been as effective. In 2017, 134 pedestrians were killed in Los Angeles, which was the largest number of pedestrian deaths since 2002.
Chicago has also implemented a Vision Zero plan in hopes of reducing its pedestrian deaths. The number of pedestrian fatalities has also increased in Chicago. In 2017, the city reported 46 pedestrian deaths. In 2013, there were 27 pedestrian deaths. The majority of these fatalities are reported in the South and West sides.
Officials in Chicago have begun taking steps toward making its roads safer for pedestrians. According to its Vision Zero plan, officials will offer more safety education materials and will add “bump-outs” to certain intersections. Curb “bump-outs” are added to shorten the length of a crosswalk, thereby reducing the length of road a pedestrian has to cross. In areas where it may be difficult for pedestrians and drivers to see each other, bump-outs offer a layer of protection.
If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, contact Stein & Shulman
At Stein & Shulman, LLC, our law firm has represented Chicago pedestrians who were injured by drivers. To schedule your free consultation with our personal injury lawyers, call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 312-422-0506.
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