New Initiative Tracks Washington, D.C. Pedestrian Accidents
Change does not happen on its own. People affected by injustice need to stand up and make their voices heard to fix dangerous situations.
Fixing dangerous situations is the goal of Struck in DC, a safety initiative that tracks all the pedestrian accidents and cyclist accidents in the DC metro area. When an accident occurs, the creators list the accident on their blog and Twitter account, relying on information from police and fire departments.
The creators urge all victims of Washington, D.C. bicycle accidents and pedestrian injuries, along with witnesses of such accidents, to send their story into the site to determine the most common places for accidents to occur.
“Together, we can make the district safer for pedestrians and cyclists by holding motorists and the city accountable,” reads the site’s About section.
How Many Pedestrian Accidents Occur in Washington, D.C. Every Year?
In 2014, there were 515 incidents of cyclists and walkers being struck by vehicles, and occasionally other cyclists. The statistics so far for 2015 are not encouraging. Struck in DC’s Twitter account has recorded 62 incidents in just January and February. This averages out to more than one crash every day in 2015.
Using data from the Struck in DC project, the Washington City Paper is placing these incidents on an interactive map to chart where accidents occur with the most frequency. Nearly all of them occur at intersections, and neighborhoods like Chinatown, Foggy Bottom, Dupont Circle and Bloomingdale have seen several injuries. Five accidents have occurred on Rhode Island Avenue alone.
How Can We Stop Pedestrian and Cycling Accidents?
City planners and municipal organizations use data like this when making decisions about which cities might need additional bike lanes, traffic lights, stop signs or more comprehensive forms of restructuring.
Additionally, civil litigation holds public agencies accountable if they were negligent when designing certain roads or intersections. For example, if a report suggested that an intersection would greatly benefit from a traffic light but the city decided against it to save money, this could be considered an act of negligence if this poor design contributed to deaths and injuries.
If something terrible happened to you or a loved one on the road, talk to someone about it. Submit the accident to the Struck in DC project, or consult with an attorney to see if you have a potential claim to help recover what you have lost. By highlighting dangerous areas, you can help make the city a safer place.