Washington joins national effort to eliminate traffic deaths

Washington, D.C. has launched an effort to combat rising pedestrian deaths by adopting a Vision Zero plan.

Push to make roads safer comes after figures show increase in pedestrian deaths

Washington, D.C. has adopted a plan to completely eliminate traffic deaths in the District, according to the Washington Post. The Vision Zero plan, which has been adopted by a number of other cities across the U.S., brings together a variety of solutions, including new traffic laws and improved road engineering, to bring down overall traffic fatalities. The plan, while still in development, comes in response to disturbing statistics released earlier this year showing that a pedestrian dies in the Washington area approximately every week.

No traffic deaths

Vision Zero is a plan that was first adopted in Sweden and has since spread to the United States. New York, San Francisco, and other cities have recently announced their own Vision Zero plans. While every city is adopting solutions to fit its own unique needs, the plans are all united in their goal to completely eliminate traffic deaths within a certain time frame.

Although Washington's plan is still in development, other cities have introduced lower speed limits, more bike lanes, and improved crosswalk designs to make roads safer, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists. The plan brings together numerous agencies to hash out improved safety measures. Experts say that for decades traffic safety has been focused on making roads and highways safer for motorists and the time has come to focus on pedestrian safety efforts.

One pedestrian dies per week

The need for better pedestrian safety was highlighted earlier this year by grim figures released by various police agencies. According to WTOP News, although pedestrian deaths in the District of Columbia itself fell from 12 deaths in 2013 to 10 last year, the Washington area actually shows a much worse picture. In 2014, a pedestrian was killed in the Washington area each week. Last year saw 52 pedestrian deaths, compared to 45 the year previous.

The statistics also show that while overall pedestrian deaths are lower in Washington than in other large American cities, pedestrian deaths here account for four times the overall number of traffic deaths when compared to the national average. Across the U.S., the situation is hardly any better, with a pedestrian dying about every two hours somewhere in the country.

Pedestrian accidents

One of the things that makes pedestrian accidents unique is that victims are far more likely to suffer severe pain and injuries. It goes without saying that a pedestrian struck by a vehicle moving at high speeds is extremely likely to sustain serious injuries.

People who have been injured in a pedestrian accident should contact a personal injury attorney right away. Not only can an experienced attorney clarify what legal options are available to accident victims, but they can also help victims recover whatever compensation may be due to them.

Keywords: accident, pedestrian, injury