With gas prices an ongoing concern and healthy living practices becoming an increasingly prevalent motivator, pedestrian traffic on the nation’s roadways is increasing. In fact, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the pedestrian population grew by about 24 million people between the years 2005 and 2010.
In an effort to raise public awareness and assert safety protocol for all pedestrians as well as drivers, Liberty Mutual created the Liberty Mutual Insurance Pedestrian Safety Index, which ranks cities according to data and statistics gathered from city residents and commuters. The Index ranks the city based on perceptions of safety.
Seattle Pedestrian Safety Ranks Number One!
More than 108,000 pedestrians use walking as at least a partial leg of their daily commutes in Seattle. Some may walk all the way to work or school and back home again, while others walk to public transportation stops to continue their commute via public transit. Either way, there are a large number of pedestrians flooding the Seattle streets every day.
The city reports less than 10 pedestrian traffic fatalities annually: an impressively low number. Liberty Mutual suggests that the walking in Seattle may be relatively safe because of some safety programs established in the past few years. For example, 501 new crosswalks protect the safety of school children who walk to school each day.
The name of this program is “Safest Route to School” and it includes the installation of new school zone speed cameras and designated safe school walking routes. The city’s “Be Super Safe” driving program also helps keep pedestrians safe by educating drivers about the impact of dangerous driving practices.
It is programs such as these that likely resulted in Seattle ranking number one on the Liberty Mutual Insurance Pedestrian Safety Index. Ninety-six percent of the residents surveyed stated that they feel pedestrians are safe walking in the city and 97 percent felt that the city took proactive measures to ensure the safety of pedestrians.
Caution and Proactive Safety Practices are Still Important in Seattle
Although Seattle ranked at the top of the Pedestrian Safety Index, it is essential to remember that there are still pedestrian traffic accidents occurring in the metro area and fatalities are still a reality in some cases.
A September 8, 2014 hit and run accident in Bellevue, a Seattle suburb, involved a 24-year-old pedestrian who was struck by a van in a crosswalk and then run over by an SUV, which subsequently left the scene. The pedestrian suffered serious injuries as a result of the crash, and the driver of the SUV is facing felony charges.
Attentive and safe walking behaviors and obeying all traffic signs are critical pedestrian safety tips to keeping Seattle pedestrian safety tops in the country.
If you are walking in the Seattle metro area, be sure to practice defensive techniques, including looking both ways before stepping into the street, even if traffic signals tell you it is safe to proceed. Avoid using electronics, listening to music or talking on your cell phone while navigating the city roads.
If You're Injured in a Pedestrian Accident in Seattle, Call Max Meyers
Max Meyers is a Seattle lawyer who represents the rights of pedestrians in traffic accidents. If you're ever injured in a pedestrian accident, Max Meyers can help you seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and/or pain and suffering. Call us at 425-399-7000 or use our contact form to set up a consultation to discuss your case with an attorney.