Florida Looks to Engineers to Keep Pedestrians Safe
FLORIDA – June 6, 2018 (govtech.com) The state of Florida is working to find solutions to pedestrian safety issues, according to an online article by govtech.com, and is looking to engineers in its mission to protect people from traffic collisions.*
In 2016 and 2017, the United States saw record numbers of pedestrian deaths. The number of pedestrians who died because of traffic accidents reached 6,000 in 2016, which was a 25-year high, and held steady in 2017. The increase in pedestrian fatalities has been attributed to various factors, like distracted driving, alcohol use, and drug use, including legalization of marijuana in many states.
Florida played a large role in the jumping number of pedestrian fatalities. Between 2009 and 2016, pedestrian deaths rose in Florida by 40 percent. The total grew to 652 people in 2016. To reverse the problem, Florida has started turning to engineers to identify and fix troublesome areas or stretches of road that might present a greater danger to pedestrians. Engineers can use mapping software that points out risk factors and suggests ideal locations for crosswalks, lighting, and design features.
Engineers say that certain aspects of a road encourage slower driving, like lane width, parking configuration, and structure installations. Drivers tend to drive slower and more carefully on narrower roads with alternating parking and where structures or barricades are installed at the end of the roadways within drivers’ view.
By using some of these techniques to renovate existing streets or build new streets, pedestrians will have safer landscapes for traveling by foot. Florida is eager to see how its engineers might be able to keep Floridians safer and set an example for other states to follow.
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