According to KVUE, Austin is the 24th most dangerous city for pedestrian fatalities and accidents. A study conducted by the National Complete Streets Coalition (NCSC) found that between 2003 and 2012, the Austin and Round Rock metro area had 251 pedestrian deaths.
In the NCSC report, Texas had nearly 4,200 pedestrian deaths in that same period.
The NCSC says that older adults, children and minorities are the most common victims of pedestrian accidents. In an interview with KVUE, AARP executive vice president Nancy LeaMond said that older people account for one in every five pedestrians killed. Additionally, she also stated that older people have the highest fatality rate of any population group.
In Texas, pedestrian injuries are the third leading cause of death for children 15 and younger.
Unfortunately, KVUE says that most of those fatal pedestrian deaths were preventable had the streets been designed safer.
Arterial roads are responsible for the most pedestrian accidents, which are roadways that are engineered to move the most amount of traffic possible with minimal delay. In other words, arterial roads allow cars to go faster. The NCSC found that over 61 percent of pedestrian fatalities were on roadways with speed limits higher than 40 mph.
However, the NCSC noted a policy statement made by the Department of Transportation (DOT) on recommendations for making the roads safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. The DOT stated that “the establishment of well-connected walking and bicycling networks is an important component for livable communities.”
How Can Roads be Designed Safer?
According to the NCSC, many options are used when designing safe roadways for pedestrians. Some examples of how to create safer streets include:
- Wider sidewalks
- Curb extensions
- Refuge islands
- Pedestrian countdown signals
- Restricted right turns on red lights
Did You Know? According to the National Complete Streets Coalition (NCSC), 1.8 percent of the population in the Austin and Round Rock metro area commutes by foot.
The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Personal Injury Attorney