U.S. Roadways Present Deadly Dangers for Pedestrians
USA- Npr.org writes that 2018 marked a 30-year record in pedestrian deaths across the country. The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that 6,227 people died in pedestrian crashes last year. Studies indicate certain factors are likely driving the problem. Smartphone use is causing all road users to be distracted, and bigger vehicles are making accidents more deadly for the road's most vulnerable users.*
Another major problem is the design of the streets in many places. Cities build roads with rush hour in mind. The goal is to promote fast commutes. Oftentimes, cars are able to speed through areas while pedestrians are left trying to navigate through the potentially deadly traffic. The highest number of deaths occurred in major urban centers like Miami and Houston. In these areas, there are often stretches of roadways that have no marked crosswalks.
The lack of pedestrian-friendly infrastructure is a problem in cities like Atlanta, where many of the residents do not have cars and have to walk or take public transportation to get around the city. While law enforcement may blame pedestrians for accidents because they may have failed to use a crosswalk, others point out that there are places where a crosswalk might not exist for up to two miles. According to research, people will walk 300 feet out of their way to get to a crosswalk. With massive distances between crosswalks, the city has basically ensured that people will be crossing in areas not designated for that purpose.
However, according to the man who wrote the Governors Highway Safety Report, the number of sidewalks did not decline, so this cannot be the only issue driving the higher number of fatalities.
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