As we have been reporting in our blog recently, the D.C. metro-area has one of the worst pedestrian accident rates in the country, experiencing about one death per week.
With this in mind, according to the Washington Post, the district will begin to study approaches to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths occurring. The news source reported that officials from more than a dozen agencies, including the health department and homeland security, met recently to discuss strategies about pedestrian accident “enforcement, public education, street engineering and data collection.”
“We need to achieve a culture change,” D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said, according to the Post. The mayor said that the district might need to look at various safety options, including increasing the number of countdown signals at intersections.
In addition, the district may look into changing speed limits in certain zones. George Branyan, coordinator of the District Department of Transportation’s pedestrian program, told the Post that he has reviewed statistics that indicate, “[A] pedestrian hit by a car going 40 mph has about a 90 percent chance of dying.”
If a vehicle traveling at about 25 mph strikes a pedestrian, Branyan said there is about an 80 percent chance of survival. “It makes a huge difference how fast a car’s going when you hit a pedestrian or a bicyclist,” Branyan said, according to the Post.
Any enforcement or design changes may be a part of “Vision Zero”; a transportation safety approach backed by Bowser that focuses on eliminating traffic-related deaths and serious injuries, with a special focus on pedestrians and bikers.
Remember, in many cases, there is very little a pedestrian can do to avoid being in an accident. Recently, we discussed some high-profile accident cases in our blog where drunk or reckless drivers have struck pedestrians. When this occurs, a victim may want to seek legal guidance.
For more information about vehicle accident and injury lawsuits, continue to follow our blog. We assist injured pedestrians in the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County, Md.
Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P.
Sponsored by: Attorney William P. Lightfoot
Did You Know? The D.C. pedestrian accident fatality rate was higher than all but two states from 2003-10.