Are Pedestrian Crosswalks Safe?
Not only are vehicles dangerous to other drivers—they are dangerous to pedestrians. The National Center for Health Statistics revealed that in 2020 alone, 7,904 pedestrians were killed.
Crosswalks Improve Safety
Crosswalks play a large role in keeping pedestrians safe while crossing the street. It’s true that most pedestrian injuries and fatalities happen in cities, away from intersections. Crosswalks are intended to provide a safe place for pedestrians to cross the street. But are pedestrian crosswalks safe?
Here are the facts you need to know about pedestrian crosswalks:
Is An Unsafe Crosswalk Possible?
One would readily believe that a crosswalk is the safest place to cross the road. Yet with the statistics of pedestrian and vehicle accidents and fatalities each year, one may reconsider. Cities often have intersections and streets with higher rates of crashes and injuries. These areas are known as ‘high injury network.’ Philly has a high injury network.
Crossing a major street is inherently dangerous. The crosswalks themselves do not prevent negligent drivers from hitting pedestrians crossing in the legally marked areas. But, even cautious drivers may have problems seeing pedestrians at unsafe crosswalks.
A perfect example of an unsafe crosswalk is a midblock crossing. A midblock crossing is a crosswalk between two intersections. The average driver will not expect to see a pedestrian in any other place than an intersection. This situation is made worse by on-street parking that can block the view of pedestrians as they attempt to cross.
Crosswalks Set Back From The Intersection
When a crosswalk is positioned in a way that might hide pedestrians in a drivers’ blind spot, it creates a hazard. If the crosswalk is too far from the corner, it puts a pedestrian in the windshield pillar (A-pillar) blind spot of many vehicles.
Crosswalks That Don’t Stop All Traffic
Do you remember when crosswalks would change all the traffic lights to red at an intersection BEFORE pedestrians could cross? Some crosswalks still do this. However, many crosswalks have pedestrians and cars crossing an intersection at the same time. This creates a pedestrian danger when cars turn – especially from behind a pedestrian.
Stop/Yield Line Too Close To A Crosswalk
When stop/yield lines are too close to a crosswalk, it creates a hazard. On streets with multiple lanes, this is a real threat to pedestrians. Vehicles stopped too close to a crosswalk can block other vehicles from seeing pedestrians.
Common Injuries in Crosswalks
The most common injuries in a crosswalk include:
- broken bones
- skin lacerations, cuts, scarring
- traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- internal injuries
A pedestrian can suffer life-altering or deadly injuries if hit by a car. Even at low speeds, vehicles can seriously harm a person. Crosswalks allow pedestrians to cross with the flow of traffic but do not prevent injury.
Can More Than the Negligent Driver Be Held Accountable?
It may seem obvious that the negligent driver is responsible for a pedestrian’s injuries. However, can more than the negligent driver be held accountable? Talk to a local injury attorney about your situation.
Crosswalk Injury Lawyer
A reputable attorney will gather the essential details of the claim. An experienced attorney will look at all the contributing factors of your injury. If the crosswalk itself is creating a hazard, you may have a legal claim against the state and local government entity.
If you are injured in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, contact Kane & Silverman for a free legal consultation and case evaluation.