Pedestrians are a concern in Seattle and throughout King County. Since they are so vulnerable to injuries and death in an auto accident, it is a constant process to try and formulate strategies to enhance pedestrian safety. This challenge is compounded by more and more drivers behaving recklessly and illegally by speeding, driving under the influence and driving while distracted. Although it is a good sign that initiatives are being put in place, that does not eliminate the danger pedestrians are in. When there is an accident, it is imperative to understand how to address the aftermath.
Seattle DOT reduces speed limits
Speed limits have been reduced to 25 mph on almost 2,500 streets in Seattle. This will lower the maximum speed on more than 400 miles in the city. This is part of Vision Zero to make the roads safer and avoid collisions. Statistically, this has been effective as there were between 20% and 40% fewer accidents on streets in which the speed limit was reduced. Another step being taken is increasing the amount of time pedestrians are given to cross streets where there are traffic lights. Lights changing while people who may be older or have disabilities is perceived as a problem resulting in accidents.
This series of safety enhancements happens as one street had a crosswalk and traffic signals installed because of a fatal pedestrian accident that claimed the life of a 77-year-old woman in 2019. At the time of the accident, there were no signals nor was there a crosswalk. On that street, there were five accidents in which people were seriously hurt or killed since 2015. Anecdotal evidence discusses the speeds at which vehicles travel and how treacherous it is to pedestrians.
Safety steps aside, the roads are risky to pedestrians
Even though these decisions are positive to try and make pedestrians safer, the reality is that drivers will continue to behave in reckless and negligent ways and place others in jeopardy of pedestrian accidents. Because pedestrians are unprotected, being hit by a vehicle will inevitably cause injuries. If the person is lucky enough to survive, there can still be brain trauma, spinal cord damage, broken bones and internal injuries. These can result in exorbitant medical expenses and long-term problems. When there is a fatality, the family left behind will have a litany of concerns as to what the future holds. For assistance in how to proceed and determine if a legal filing is necessary, having professional guidance can be helpful. Calling for a consultation is a wise decision to assess how to move forward.