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Is Seattle One of The Most Dangerous Cities for Pedestrians?

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The quick answers is no, the Seattle - Tacoma - Bellevue area is actually one of the safest metro areas for pedestrians according to a new study by transportation For America.  When you compare the numbers of pedestrian deaths per year against the amount of people who walk regularly, Seattle - Tacoma - Bellevue area is 48 out of 52, with only for other cities over 1 million being safer.  Your chances of avoiding a Washington pedestrian accident is better than other parts of the country.

Here are some sobering facts: Over 76,000 Americans have been killed while crossing or walking along U.S. streets; More than 43,000 of those - including 3,906 kids under 16 - have been killed in the last 10 years.  This is like a jumbo jet crashing every month, but nobody hears about this tragic situation on America roadways.

Pedestrian are often hit by cars, which is labeled as an "accident."  Fault is contributed to one or both the car and pedestrian.  Surviving spouses and children often have wrongful death claims that arise following a fatal pedestrian accident.  If you are in this tragic situation, please seek the advice of an experienced Washington wrongful death attorney.  You have enough on your plate, and need someone who can fight for your loved one while you go through the grieving process.

However, there is a dirty little secret in the numbers.  In fatal pedestrian accidents an overwhelming proportion share a similar factor: The accident happened along roads that were dangerously designed, streets were designed for fast movement of vehicles with little consideration for pedestrian, bicycles or even wheelchairs.

Walking on streets without sidewalks or crossing intersection without crosswalks is much more dangerous for pedestrians.  Especially in areas where there are lots of cars, like strip malls and other shopping centers, business centers, and apartment complexes.  More than half of the studied fatal accidents happened on wide, high capacity, high speed streets that had no sidewalks, little street parking and few trees.

Luckily we live in a state that is fairly pedestrian and bicycle friendly.  Sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, and trail systems all help to keep walkers and bicyclists safe.  There's nothing worse than losing a loved one or child in a fatal pedestrian accident.  Please keep supporting the expansion of designated pedestrian and bicycle areas on all Washington streets and roadways.
2 Comments:
I disagree with the author. In the UK, crossings are set back from junctions so that drivers do not turn directly onto them and must stop at a dedicated light when they are in use by pedestrians. In Seattle, four-way intersections are particularly dangerous, since drivers turn onto crossings when the light turns green at the same time the pedestrian light turns white. I encountered an incident, involving a police constable, who stopped at the corner, appeared to be waiting for me to cross, the light appeared to be in my favour, there was no other traffic in sight but as soon as I began crossing he revved his engine, turned onto the crossing and sounded his siren. I had to step back to allow him to pass and then continued to cross. I saw him pull up sharply and then he backed up, turned back into the street I was walking along and began yelling. He issued me with a 'jaywalking' ticket and behaved as though he suffered from road rage. It did not convey the impression that Seattle is a city built on mutual respect. In the UK, drivers must stop at crossings when there are pedestrians. I have never driven a car and find Seattle very pedestrian-unfriendly.
Posted by DoctorX on December 26, 2009 at 04:41 PM
I have lived in large cities and find Seattle pedestrians to be some of the worst I have ever seen. They tend to step off the curb and do not look either way. I am surprised the hit rate is so low. I first thought it was only in the central area of Seattle but have found it all over the city. If you are a driver be careful and look, look, as they are not.
Posted by Tom Brown on December 15, 2009 at 07:43 PM

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