The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released a report that analyzed pedestrian accidents in Alabama and elsewhere. The aim was to come up with a number of ways that officials can help reduce the risks of pedestrian accidents in communities nationwide.
Fortunately, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) may be one step ahead of the game as it has already constructed a Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan to help reduce the risks of pedestrian accidents.
Our Alabama pedestrian accident attorneys recognize that this plan is backed by excellent intentions. But there’s no decreasing the risks for these types of accidents until this plan is put into motion and motorists start to react accordingly. The plan aims to promote pedestrian safe roadways in the state and to minimize the impacts of future projects on non-motorized travelers. ALDOT also is establishing a list of recommendations for pedestrian and bicycle facilities.
These ideas are great, but much more needs to be done. Pedestrian and bicycle accidents are a real threat to public safety — particularly in Tuscaloosa, Burimingham and other metro areas. The AAA Foundation reports identifies speed as a common cause. According to the report, there were nearly 4,100 pedestrians killed in 2009 on U.S. roadways because of traffic-related accidents. Another 59,000 pedestrians were injured in motor vehicle-related accidents during the same year.
Alabama witnessed nearly 100 pedestrian fatalities in 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. From 2000 to 2009, there were nearly 1,000 pedestrians killed in our state.
Alabama’s most dangerous counties (pedestrian fatalities from 2000 to 2009):
-Mobile: 138 deaths.
-Jefferson: 106 deaths.
-Madison: 59 deaths.
The faster that a vehicle is traveling, the more likely it is to inflict serious injury or death upon a pedestrian. AAA concluded that a pedestrian faces a 10 percent risk for injury when they’re hit by a vehicle that is traveling at 16 mph.
Risks for Injury/Speed Traveled:
-25 percent risk/23 miles per hour.
-50 percent risk/31 miles per hour
-75 percent risk/39 miles per hour.
-90 percent risk/46 miles per hour.
Risk for Death/Speed Traveled:
-10 percent risk/23 miles per hour.
-25 percent risk/32 miles per hour.
-50 percent risk/42 miles per hour.
-75 percent risk/50 miles per hour.
-90 percent risk/58 miles per hour.
To help reduce these risks, AAA recommends that local government officials consider lowering speed limits in areas where a lot of pedestrians travel. If the speed limit cannot be lowered because of the need for fast-moving traffic, then government officials are urged to construct a physical barrier to separate pedestrian and vehicular traffic. With these few small changes, AAA expects that thousands of pedestrian lives can be saved every year.
Children with ADHD More Likely to be Injured in an Alabama Pedestrian Accident, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, August 3, 2011
Pedestrian Accidents in Alabama Examined by New Safety Report, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, June 16, 2011