Anywhere motor vehicles operate there is a risk of a collision occurring. While a collision may involve another vehicle, pedestrians, in the form of walkers and bicyclists, also need to be on alert. When a car or truck hits a pedestrian the injuries can be devastating. Depending on the circumstances they might even lead to death.
Federal data indicates that this issue is one that over the course of the past five years has grown. Between 2011 and 2012, the number of bicyclists who died rose close to 7 percent. During the same period of time pedestrian fatalities went up 6 percent.
The U.S. Transportation Secretary recently announced actions the federal government plans to take to try to reduce the number of these incidents that occur. As a part of the 18-month campaign, safer policies, communities and streets will be created.
The redesign of roads could result in more space for walkers and pedestrians and lower traffic volumes. According to studies, this approach has reduced traffic accidents by an average of 29 percent. In rural settings the reduction is even higher—50 percent.
Road redesigns are not the only way in which the initiative aims to increase pedestrian safety. The government also points to the usefulness of current crash avoidance technologies. These technologies can alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians.
In addition, the campaign will focus on educating individuals and promoting behavioral safety.
The outcome of the initiative remains to be seen. All are likely hoping that it will in fact lead to a reduction in pedestrian deaths.
Source: Forbes, “New Safety Initiative To Reverse Recent Rise In Pedestrian and Bicycle Deaths,” Tanya Mohn, Sept. 30, 2014