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Is it dangerous to be a pedestrian in Seattle?

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2023 | Auto-Pedestrian Accidents |

As residents, we all know that Seattle is a walkable city with many attractions and amenities for pedestrians. Unfortunately, as pedestrians, we face some challenges and risks.

Seattle Department of Transportation

According to the Seattle Department of Transportation, there were 11 pedestrian fatalities and 180 serious injuries in 2017, which was a significant increase from previous years. To address this issue, the city launched Vision Zero, a plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030.

Implementing Vision Zero

To help pedestrians, our city lowered speed limits on residential streets and on most arterials. The city also installed more crosswalks, signals, signs and lights to improve visibility and accessibility for pedestrians. You may have also noticed Healthy Streets. These are streets that are open for people walking, rolling, biking and playing. As a result, they are closed to pass-through traffic.

Steps you can take to be safe

As a pedestrian, you can also take some steps to protect yourself and others when walking in Seattle. First, only cross at marked crosswalks and look both ways before crossing. Remove headphones and put down phones so you can hear streetcar warning bells and horns, along with car horns. Use sidewalks when they are available, and if not, walk on the left side of the road or its shoulder facing traffic.

Motorist responsibilities

Of course, motorists must also drive safely. State law mandates that every driver of a vehicle must exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian on any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary. Drivers must give the right-of-way to pedestrians and bicyclists at intersections. That is true at both marked and unmarked crosswalks.

Accidents will still likely happen

Unfortunately, even if you walk safely and follow all recommendations, you may still be involved in an auto/pedestrian accident. And, if a negligent driver hits you, you have options.