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Are raised sidewalks the key to reducing pedestrian accidents?

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2021 | blog, personal injury

The number of pedestrians and cyclists struck and killed by motor vehicles in Ohio and around the country has soared in recent years, and many of these accident victims are young children. Many city governments have launched Vision Zero road safety initiatives that aim to eliminate road deaths entirely by the middle of the century or even sooner, and building infrastructure to protect pedestrians is usually a major part of these efforts. Lawmakers in Cincinnati called for a Vision Zero initiative in 2018 when a report released by the police department revealed that drivers in the city were involved in 407 pedestrian accidents that claimed 77 lives.

Raised crosswalks

Many of these pedestrians lost their lives in accidents that took place in crosswalks. City planners know that slowing traffic down in intersections could prevent accidents and save lives, so they plan to raise crosswalks outside schools and other places where children gather. The Cincinnati Department of Transportation and Engineering says that it will build pedestrian improvements at more than 200 locations as part of the city’s Vision Zero efforts. Workers completed the first raised crosswalk outside an elementary school in Evanston on Dec. 23. The crosswalk is now 12 feet wide and 6 inches higher than it was before. The DOTE plans to raise the crosswalks outside another three schools in 2021.

Vision Zero results

While Vision Zero initiatives have met with mixed results in other parts of the country, the steps being taken in Cincinnati seem to be bearing fruit. During the first year of the campaign, the number of pedestrian accidents dropped to 350 and the number of pedestrians killed fell by 41%. When city lawmakers learned about these reductions, they increased the pedestrian safety fund from $500,000 to $750,000.

Advocating on behalf of injured pedestrians

Many pedestrians struck by motor vehicles survive the accident but suffer debilitating injures. If you were involved in a pedestrian accident that left you unable to go to work and earn a paycheck, an experienced personal injury attorney could check the police report to see if negligence played a role. If it did, an attorney may file a lawsuit on your behalf seeking compensation to cover your health care bills, pain and suffering, and lost income.