Pedestrians crossing the road in Illinois often take their lives in their hands. This is due to the historically high number of accidents in this state and the rest of the country. Collisions involving pedestrians are becoming more deadly than ever before.
Pedestrians are increasingly in severe danger
Many types of accidents, such as hit and run crashes, represent a serious danger to pedestrians. It is estimated that 20 people are killed each day simply by walking outside and being hit by a vehicle. The number of total deaths recorded in 2022 exceeded 7,500. This represents a figure that has not been reached since 1981.
Many of these deaths have been blamed on the soaring popularity of SUVs. These vehicles are heavier than cars and more likely to cause fatal damage if they hit a pedestrian. The lack of proper pedestrian features on major roads and highways is another root cause. Together, these factors account for an increased number of deaths.
Can traffic calming keep pedestrians safe?
Many health and safety experts have suggested the increased use of traffic calming. This is a technique that has been shown to help reduce the number of motor vehicle accidents. The idea is to install sharp corners at the end of roads to remove the previous round curves. This is a move that can force drivers to slow down.
Traffic calming is often enhanced by certain key additions. These include the addition of larger, more clearly defined pedestrian islands. This feature helps to give pedestrians a larger and more manageable area in which to negotiate road crossings. Calming experts also very often recommend the addition of bulb-outs to the ends of nearby sidewalks.
Some of the most common hazards to pedestrians include speeding and distracted driving. Highway safety experts have recommended using cameras to record speeding and other violations. Cameras at red lights can help to punish offenders and deter others from following in their footsteps. This can help to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths.