While the accident and fatality rate for drivers in the US is, on average, decreasing, the number of pedestrians killed on the road has risen by 3.4% to the highest in 20 years. Other road users, including riders of bikes and electric scooters, are also increasingly at risk, especially as their numbers are rising. Educating pedestrians, cyclists and riders on how to stay safe is important, but victims of accidents need support when they have been let down by unsuitable road infrastructure, a lack of safety measures and reckless drivers on the road.
Increasing Safety Measures For Pedestrians
Pedestrian-related traffic accidents are a serious problem in Texas, and in Austin last year 40% of the traffic deathswere of people on foot. Pedestrians failing to access the road at intersections or marked crosswalks is a growing problem. As a result, the city’s Transportation Department is increasing the number of mid-block crossings, and in some areas, giving pedestrians more time to traverse crosswalks. Reminding pedestrians to follow traffic signals, stay alert, and ensure they are easily visible can help to reduce injury and death on the roads, but distracted and speeding drivers are also to blame for many of these accidents. Where pedestrians are injured through no fault of their own, a personal injury attorney in Austin is a valuable asset: they are familiar with state law, and will offer support in handling the consequences of an accident, which can often be overwhelming. Raising awareness of the rise in accidents should then encourage greater accountability from state authorities in eliminating the causes.
Improving Infrastructure For Cyclists
In New York last year, 29 cyclists were killed: almost treble the number from the year before. To address this issue, the mayor announced a ‘Green Wave’ initiative aimed at improving infrastructure for cyclists and allowing them to cycle more freely and safely through the city. With the addition of further protected bike lanes, an increase in public education, and much greater accountability for dangerous drivers, it is hoped that the Mayor’s vision for zero road deaths by 2024 could still be realized.
Reducing Injuries Caused By e-Scooters
Electric scooters are growing in popularity, and now over 60 cities across the country are providing shared scooter facilities. Unfortunately, with increased use, safety is now becoming an issue. In just two UCLA medical centers in Los Angeles last year, almost 250 people were treated for injuries related to scooter use. With only 4% of riders wearing a helmet, doctors have seen an increase in head trauma, so, even though it is not compulsory, encouraging riders to protect themselves could help them avoid serious injury. Pedestrians are also injured through collision with riders and from simply tripping over scooters discarded carelessly on the sidewalk. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation is now clamping down on riding on sidewalks and has introduced new regulations to stop riders leaving scooters outside of specified parking zones.
With the recent increase in walking and alternative modes of transport, safety for pedestrians and riders has become a greater issue. Across the country, cities are introducing initiatives to make roads and sidewalks safer, and educate all road users on how to protect themselves from serious injury.