What dangers do pedestrians in WA face?

Pedestrians face numerous dangers when walking near traffic, including congested urban streets and high-speed rural roads.

Spring is nearly here and, for many Seattle residents, this means getting out and enjoying the fresh air. Walking is great exercise and also good for the environment. However, for those who walk every once in a while or who get around by walking every day, there are many dangers. This is especially true for those who walk near the high-speed traffic of the Seattle urban area.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 75 pedestrians lost their lives in Washington State in 2014. This number was a significant jump from 49 the previous year. Pedestrian accidents are not just a problem in Washington. There were 4,743 pedestrian deaths across the country in 2012.

Areas where pedestrians face the most danger

In a report conducted by Smart Growth America, it was found that pedestrian accidents were responsible for almost 15 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2012. Most pedestrians who are killed or injured in accidents are hit in busy metropolitan areas or while walking on undeveloped urban roadways. To address this issue, many communities are making efforts to create safer places for pedestrians to walk. Effective solutions may include the following:

• More crosswalks away from intersections, or crossing areas that are better marked so they are more visible to drivers

• Crossing areas that take pedestrians away from traffic, such as elevated walkways spanning a road

• Sidewalks with a dividing barrier between pedestrians and traffic

• Pedestrian-activated traffic lights at crosswalks

• Traffic "calming" measures in residential areas that force vehicles to slow down

Historically, states the report by Smart Growth America, many roadways were developed after World War II during exponential community growth, which allowed vehicles to quickly drive between neighborhoods, workplaces and shopping centers. While convenient for motor vehicle traffic, these high-speed arterial roadways were dangerous for people walking alongside them. Many of these roads lack sidewalks, crossing areas and adequate lighting, and connect rural communities where there is a high prevalence of pedestrian accidents.

Seattle pedestrian killed

A recent accident that occurred last January highlights the dangers that pedestrians face in Seattle. According to the Seattle Times, a woman attempting to cross a street on North Beacon Hill was struck by a car turning onto the road, and later died in the hospital. Authorities said the driver did not appear to be intoxicated.

You may need the assistance of a Washington attorney with experience in pedestrian accidents if you or a loved one was hit by a car. An attorney should be able to tell you if you may be eligible for compensation.