Traffic flow and speed limits have always been a concern for city planners as well as motorists. While there’s a lot that has been done to help traffic run as smoothly as possible, it has been at the detriment to pedestrians in Queens and the Bronx and throughout the country. Pedestrian fatalities have jumped significantly in part due things like the flow of the traffic and increased speed limits. Here is more information about why lower speeds can be the key to reducing fatalities and which communities have been impacted the most.
Reasons why lower speeds matter
Accidents will happen despite how low speed limits are. However, a pedestrian is more likely to survive being hit if they are struck at a lower speed. The chance of a fatality is only 5% if a vehicle is going 20 mph versus 85% at 40 mph. Lowering speed limits by just 10 mph can greatly reduce the number of pedestrian deaths that are caused by cars.
Why it’s worse in low-income communities
Many people don’t realize that low-income communities are the ones that tend to be at the most risk for pedestrian accidents. This is because many of these communities have poor street designs, not enough crosswalks and limited sidewalks. People in these communities are more likely to walk in the road or cross at intersections that aren’t safe. Lower income families are also less likely to have a car, so they may spend a lot of time walking from one destination to another.
Pedestrian safety hasn’t been a top concern until recently. We are seeing so many pedestrian deaths that have been caused by traffic flow and increased speed limits. Advocates of pedestrian safety are trying to bring about awareness to this issue in order to bring about change.