Last year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in our country. That total is up from 2014 when 4,884 pedestrians lost their lives. Throughout the United States, a pedestrian is killed roughly every two hours. While that is a startling statistic, in Nashville it may very well be even more dangerous to be a pedestrian. According to a recent report, Nashville is the 37th most dangerous city out of 104 metro areas according to a study released by Smart Growth America. The good news is that Nashville has improved from 15th but there is still more room for improvement. In a ten-year period, 209 pedestrians were struck and killed in Nashville. And, of course, many more have been injured.
Like so many things, money seems to be impediment to increased pedestrian safety. The City of Nashville has recently identified 1,900 miles where sidewalks are needed. To build and repair the City’s sidewalks and bike paths will be expensive though – an estimated $814 million. The City’s own report recommended $110 million be dedicated each year for sidewalk infrastructure. Unfortunately, last year the City only budgeted $30 million to new sidewalk paving.
Until funding catches up with the City’s sidewalk needs, pedestrians will continue to be at a high risk. Drivers can help reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths by following these safety tips:
- Do not drive distracted so that you are more likely to notice and avoid pedestrians. If your phone is too much of a temptation, put it out of reach or turn it off.
- Move over for pedestrians. If there is no oncoming traffic and it is safe to do so, move over and give the pedestrians and yourself plenty of room.
- Slow down. The faster you are going the shorter your reaction time in the event a pedestrian appears in your path. This is especially true on hilly and curvy roads where your line of sight is limited.
- Use extra care at night and in inclement weather when it is harder to see.
- Pay close attention in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are more likely to be present.
- Back up slowly when exiting a driveway or parking spot.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and do not pass other vehicles stopped at a crosswalk as they may be stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross.
- Of course, do not drive impaired by drugs or alcohol. Again, reaction time and judgment can be critically affected.
At the Law Offices of John Day, we have been privileged to help pedestrian victims and the families of those killed in pedestrian accidents. We know that a few moments of carelessness by a driver can cause unimaginable pain and devastation for the victim and their families. If you or your loved one would like a free case analysis of a pedestrian accident, one of our award-winning lawyers will be happy to speak with you, review your accident, answer your questions and explain your legal options. Simply give us a call at 615-742-4880 (Nashville) or 615-867-9900 (Murfreesboro) or 866-812-8787 (toll-free) If we think we can help you, it will not cost you a penny out-of-pocket as we handle all pedestrian accident cases on a contingency basis. And, we advance all necessary case expenses. Please click these links for more information on our fees or pedestrian accidents.