Auto accident-related deaths of pedestrians are rising more rapidly than fatalities among motorists, approaching 6,000 annually. As a part of fatalities from 2016 crashes, approximately 15% are among pedestrians compared to 11% from 2015. Experts attribute this trend to lower fuel prices and more people walking for exercise and environmental purposes. The largest contributor may be that both drivers and walkers are simply distracted by usage of mobile devices, but this cause it rarely documented and goes unreported. Denver is taking a host of safety measures to hopefully slow this trend.
Denver Adding New Crosswalk Signal Technology
The department known as Denver Public Works is installing a new traffic signal device to limit pedestrian related accidents. The signals known as Hawk Signals, which are t-shaped lights, are being used in place of traditional crosswalk lights. The Department feels that they will demonstrate one new way of assisting with pedestrian safety. Pedestrians that activate the button to cross the street, trigger a yellow cautionary signal to drivers. A double red-light stops traffic from crossing, while flashing red signals remind motorists to check the crossing as they proceed.
Denver Uncontrolled Pedestrian Guideline Report
This guideline report shows three additional measures that are being taken:
- Pedestrian Refuge Islands: Located in the center of the road between traffic lanes moving in the opposite direction. Pedestrians can safely cross the street in two phases, as they only need to be concerned with crossing one lane of traffic at a time.
- Curb Extensions: These are added to elongate the sidewalk and narrow the roadway, making for a shorter distance for pedestrians to cross. In addition, they heighten visibility and have been determined to slow down traffic.
- Parking Restrictions: No parking is allowed within 30 feet from crossings to maintain visibility and is further enhanced with markings and signage.
Studies suggest that when pedestrians are made to wait for over 30 seconds, that they are considerably more likely to demonstrate risky behavior. Marking the crosswalks helps to direct pedestrians to assigned crossings, reminds motorists to be alert near the crossings, and serves to institute legal points of crossings among non-intersection sites. The combination of reducing traffic speed, having narrower lanes of travel, a reduction in overall traffic volume, and better markings and signals in specific areas, seems to be the formula for improvements in safety. The underlying problem of distractions from using mobile devices may still limit the overall results from all of these new safety measures.
Has a careless or negligent driver caused you to become a personal injury victim? Colorado law allows for those who have endured trauma and distress resulting from such accidents to seek redress through monetary compensation. The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal upholds the legal rights of those injured and can be reached at (303) 825-2223 for a complimentary initial consultation.