As Nashville injury lawyers, we have seen an uptick in the number of pedestrian accident cases in our office, but these new numbers are startling. Nashville has roughly double the number of pedestrian accidents resulting in death as the rest of the country. Last year alone, 49 pedestrians lost their lives in Nashville. Read on to learn more about the causes and what can you do to help reduce these statistics.
One of the big causes for the high number of pedestrian accidents in Nashville is the lack of sidewalks. 4,600 Nashville miles are missing sidewalks and 1,900 of those miles were deemed to be in critical need of sidewalks. Last year, Nashville constructed sidewalks in just 8 of those 1,900 miles. Yes, you read that correctly – 8 miles. In 2020, Nashville only constructed 4 miles of sidewalks in badly needed areas.
There are a number of reasons behind the lack of sidewalk construction in Nashville. First, there is the cost of constructing sidewalks and how that cost will be paid. According to Metro Council Member Emily Benedict, a single linear foot of sidewalk costs $837 to construct. In addition to the normal budget constraints, there has been litigation over funding with a recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that has mucked up funding issues even more. The decision effectively makes it harder for Metro to require builders and landowners to contribute to the construction of sidewalks. Furthermore, there are stormwater concerns that must be addressed if more concrete, that does not absorb rainfall, is added to the Nashville landscape. The issue of sidewalks has been a topic in the current mayoral race which is now in a run-off between Freddie O’Connell and Alice Rolli. Many are anxious to see how the new mayor will address pedestrian safety and sidewalk construction.
In the meantime, remember that this is a problem for all of us even those that primarily use cars and trucks to get around. Ultimately, we are all pedestrians, even if you are just getting out of your car and walking across a parking lot to get to Bridgestone arena or the grocery store. Collectively, we can all do our part to help reduce pedestrian accidents.
First, slow down. Nashville has been actively reducing speed limits in communities as a way of reducing pedestrian and car accidents but excessive speed impacts reaction and stopping time. Second, do not drive distracted. While cellphones are a huge distraction for drivers, other distractions can be just as dangerous from putting on make-up to letting a dog ride on your lap while driving, etc. It is important to devote your full time and attention to driving. Third, in heavily congested pedestrian areas, be especially careful. Do not gun it through a yellow light. Be sure to use headlights. Obviously, you should yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk but you should also never pass a car that has stopped at a crosswalk as the pedestrian may step into your path. Pay attention when backing up as a pedestrian may be in your path especially in parking lots. Finally, always be in good condition to drive. Do not drive if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Do not drive if you are too tired. Do not drive if you are upset and unfocused.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a pedestrian and would like to understand your legal rights and have your questions answered, give us a call. We offer a free, initial consultation. If we think you have a case and you decide to hire us, our award-winning attorneys handle all pedestrian injury cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we recover money for you. And unlike some injury lawyers, we advance all case expenses, interest-free. To get started, simply give us a call at one of our convenient Middle Tennessee locations:
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