Cities Becoming More Dangerous for Pedestrians and Cyclists
Highlighting the extreme vulnerabilities of some road sharers, a global status report by the World Health Organization revealed that traffic deaths of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists made up more than half of all vehicular fatalities worldwide. Though the physical vulnerabilities are clear among pedestrians and cyclists, there is much that can be done to prevent pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents.
Statistics Highlight Fatality Trends
Although traffic deaths in Washington, D.C. decreased between the years of 2017 and 2018, there was a rise in the pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities category by 20 percent. A similar trend has recently been observed in New York and Los Angeles. Throughout the country, pedestrian deaths have increased by 45 percent since 2010, cyclist deaths have also risen by 25 percent.
Report Blames Infrastructure Shortcomings
A professor at the University of Maryland, explored the reasons that may be influencing the alarming trend that endangers individuals in populous urban settings.
The report states that the city’s efforts encourage citizens to walk and bike, but efforts are pushing for an ideal that is not adequately supported by current roadways and infrastructures in cities. Unfortunately, the health-conscious and environmentally friendly plan, while well-intentioned, remains insufficient in securing the safety of those who share the roads with the unavoidable vehicular traffic found in major American cities.
The research supports the notion that more pedestrians and cyclists on the roads necessitate a better approach to city planning and infrastructure, and that ignoring this advice can mean the difference between life and death.
Many cities have taken steps to address the dangers of walking and biking on their roads. Cities have responded by reducing speed limits, improving intersections, and instituting bike-friendly road-use policies.
These improvements are a good start. However, the issue can be addressed by many other stakeholders as well.
Drivers should practice driving behaviors that consider the expectation that roads are meant to be shared. Drivers should also be aware that careless driving is especially harmful to pedestrians and cyclists.
Car manufacturers could make modifications to vehicles, such as lowering front bumpers to make them less of a deadly threat.
Ultimately, the most needed improvement has to do with road-sharing priorities becoming mainstream. When cities, drivers, and the car industry prioritize these life-saving policies, tragedies are prevented. That would enhance the road-sharing experience for all.
Washington, D.C. Car Accident Attorneys at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Advocate for Injured Pedestrians and Cyclists
Pedestrians and cyclists who have been injured in an accident may be able to collect damages. Vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists can suffer serious injuries if they are hit by a motor vehicle, and medical bills can be extraordinary. Our dedicated Washington, D.C. car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Duane. O. King will help you collect the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 202-331-1963 for a free consultation about your case. Located in Washington, D.C., we also serve clients throughout Maryland.