No Progress in Pedestrian Safety in Indiana

pedestrians.jpgIn spite of efforts like education campaigns and enforcement campaigns, pedestrians continue to be killed at a high rate in Indiana. In fact, those numbers actually increased between 2013 and 2014.

New statistics released by the Governors Highway Safety Association clearly find an increase in pedestrian fatalities in 2014, compared to the previous year. In 2014, there were 37 pedestrian fatalities in Indiana, an increase from 34 fatalities in the previous year.

In fact, nationwide, it was a similar picture in 2014. There was either no change at all in accident statistics between 2013 and 2014, or those numbers actually increased. Nationwide, 14 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities now constitute pedestrians. That is an increase from just a decade earlier, when the percentage was in single digits.

Either states are not making the kind of efforts that are necessary to keep pedestrians safer, or these efforts are not being enforced well. There are a number of things that transportation agencies and the administration can do to help protect pedestrians. Laws need to tilt in favor of pedestrians, and must be strongly enforced. Violators must be heavily penalized, rather than being faced with low penalties imposed on them; penalties that do nothing to deter motorists or increase pedestrian safety.

Pedestrian infrastructure also needs to be redesigned to take into consideration the fact that there are more pedestrians and bicyclists on the road now than there were just a decade ago. In Indiana, the administration has promoted bicycling and walking as safe, convenient ways to travel, and that has resulted in an increase of these populations. However, those efforts by the government have not translated into similar efforts to make bicycling and walking safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. Only through increasing the number of bike paths and marked and designated crosswalks, the use of pedestrian safety controls at intersections and other areas that have a high risk of pedestrian accidents, can these efforts reduce accident risks for people who choose to walk or ride bikes.

Pedestrian accidents typically result in serious injuries. Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable to serious injuries like head injuries, and these typically translate into heavy medical expenses. If you have suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, speak with an Indiana pedestrian accident attorney at our firm.