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Why is taking a walk so risky these days?

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2023 | Personal Injury |

When you hear a report about someone being mugged or attacked on the news, it might make you afraid to walk your local streets. Yet the most likely threat to you does not come from a potential assailant but from everyday folk who have no intention of harming anyone when they set out.

Drivers are the biggest threat to pedestrians, and a recent Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report found that pedestrian safety is at its lowest for over four decades, with 2022 seeing the highest pedestrian death toll (7,500) since 1981. Why is this? The GHSA gave several reasons:

Firstly, it’s down to the roads

Those in charge of designing roads and towns have prioritized helping cars to travel faster. Increased speed multiplies the risk to anyone hit by a vehicle, and it also makes a crash more likely in the first place, as drivers need longer to react to something and avoid a collision.

Secondly, planners have not given enough thought to making roads pedestrian-friendly

You could argue they’ve actively discouraged people from getting around on foot, and for those who have no choice or prefer to walk, they’ve made it dangerous. Examples include roads with no sidewalks and major roads that isolate people on one side from where they need to be on the other, with no safe place to cross.

Finally, it’s down to the vehicles people are choosing to drive

More and more people who never venture off-road are buying huge 4x4s or their equally bulky but less capable lookalikes. While SUVs may be safer for the occupants than a small family saloon, their increased height and bulk make them far more dangerous for pedestrians.

If someone injures you, they might argue it was an accident. While they probably did not mean it, that does not excuse them from their responsibilities toward you. The crash would never have happened if they and others had made different choices.


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