In Cincinnati, throughout Ohio and across the nation, pedestrian safety is coming to the forefront of safety concerns. Increasingly, people who are simply out walking can find themselves seriously injured or lose their lives in an auto collision. There are many statistical and theoretical reasons as to why this is happening including the prevalence of distracted driving, drivers who get behind the wheel under the influence, drowsy drivers, reckless drivers and drivers who go beyond the posted speed limits. Infrastructure and road design are also viewed as contributing factors.
A new safety concept
To address road design and how it might impact pedestrian accidents, Cincinnati is set to implement a new strategy to improve safety by having lighted crosswalks. The system – known as LightPath – will function differently than conventional lighting systems on streets and roadways in the Buckeye State. Currently, the design has lights coming from overhead street lights. With LightPath, the light will shoot a beam across the street, hopefully giving better visibility as people cross. The Director of Transportation and Engineering in the state touts the new system as giving drivers a clearer vision when people are in crosswalks.
The system is currently being tested. One location is in front of a school. Another is near a busy area where there is a library and other points of interest that draw many people. These locations were specifically chosen because they are busy at all hours of the day, especially in the early morning and late evening when it can be hard to see people as they cross. The program will be assessed based on the motor and foot traffic; what the community thinks about it; and if it does reduce the number of accidents and near misses. Other ways in which the state is trying to make the roads safer for pedestrians and motorists is through better sign visibility, clearer markings and raised crosswalks so vehicles have no choice but to reduce their speed.
Even with safety initiatives, pedestrians must still be aware
Despite these noteworthy ideas, people should be cognizant of their surroundings, take nothing for granted and be fully alert of the potential problems they can face if they or a loved one is injured in an auto-pedestrian accident. Because pedestrians are so vulnerable and have no protection whatsoever, they are prone to suffering broken bones, brain trauma, spinal cord damage, cuts, bruises and other injuries if they are hit by an automobile. This can result in huge medical expenses, being unable to work, a diminished contribution to a family and long-term challenges. In a worst-case scenario, there will be a fatality leaving a family to wonder what they will do to get beyond the accident in every aspect of life. To determine what the options are and move forward, it is important to have professional advice to investigate the case and decide what steps to take.