Last year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 6,205 pedestrians killed in this country which was a 44 percent increase from 2010. To combat these deaths and other injuries from automobile and pedestrian accidents, the U.S. Department of Transportation released its first pedestrian safety plan last month.
According to the NHTSA, pedestrians comprised 17 percent of all traffic deaths in this country in 2019. The Governors Highway Safety Administration predicts that the upward trend in pedestrian fatalities will continue in 2020.
The GHSA also expressed fears over the continued rise in deaths on local roads, during the evening and outside intersections. Speeding poses an outsized threat to pedestrians, motorcycles bicycles and is one of the major causes of traffic accidents in the country, according to the GHSA.
Under the USDOT plan, agencies will identify measures to set appropriate speed limits, restrict speeding and lower speed-related deaths. Federal agencies will execute several initiatives by the end of 2020 to improve public education on street safety, help governments place pedestrian crossings in better locations and draft a guide on better streetlight design. The use of pedestrian devices on pedestrian safety will be investigated.
Many federal agencies, according to this plan, will take other steps to improve safety. These include the study and use of automated driving technology and training police on bicycle and police safety.
The NHTSA will also review the differences between the intended design and actual use of new pedestrian and bicycle facilities. It will examine whether users know how to effectively use this infrastructure, enforcement and the availability of educational resources and initiatives.
This plan responds, in part, from groups like the National Association of City Transportation Officials and the GHSA. These groups asked the NHTSA to evaluate how governments design speed limits and setting slow zones to reduce accidents. These methods have been under additional review during the pandemic.
Motorists have the duty to drive safely and pay attention to motorist and bicyclists. An attorney can help victims of a reckless or negligent driver, or their families seek compensation.