Fort Worth is in dire need of infrastructural change that accommodates the safety of pedestrians. Since 2015, the Federal Highway Administration has been scrutinizing the city, due to its high rate of pedestrian deaths.
According to local data, the number of pedestrian deaths throughout Fort Worth has fluctuated from 2012-2017. During that five-year period, approximately 131 pedestrians lost their lives — an average of 21.8 deaths per year. During the same period, more than 800 Fort Worth pedestrians were injured.
City officials adopt Vision Zero
These figures have prompted city officials to take action, according to NBC5. The Fort Worth city council recently voted to address pedestrian safety through the creation of a Vision Zero policy.
“The idea behind Vision Zero is to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries by figuring out how and why crashes are happening before they happen,” said Tanya Brooks, assistant director with the city’s Transportation and Public Works Department.
Vision Zero was first introduced in Sweden during the 1990s. In recent years, it has gained momentum across the United States. Vision Zero challenges traditional driving culture by encouraging the following outlook:
- Traffic fatalities are preventable rather than inevitable.
- No driver is perfect, and human error is inevitable.
- Rather than focus on preventing collisions, focus on preventing severe and fatal crashes.
- Rather than placing sole responsibility on drivers, a systematic change must be established.
- Making changes to save lives is not expensive.
“This new approach would have us looking at the crashes in advance, identify where the majority of these crashes are happening and start to design differently,” said Brooks.
What’s driving Fort Worth’s high rate of pedestrian deaths?
The growing rate of pedestrian fatalities isn’t just a problem here in Fort Worth, but also across the nation. Overall, traffic fatalities involving motorists have declined over the past three years, according to federal statistics. Pedestrian fatalities, on the other hand, have increased by 3.4 percent within the past year and 42 percent within the past decade.
The leading causes of pedestrian deaths, cited by safety advocates and federal agencies, include:
- Human error: Distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding
- Increase in SUVs and large pickup trucks on the road
- Poorly designed infrastructure that fails to accommodate pedestrians
If you were hurt in a collision, or have lost a loved one, while out walking, you have the right to take legal action. Pedestrian accident attorney Coby L. Wooten proudly serves clients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He knows how to investigate collisions involving pedestrians and will leave no stone unturned when gathering the evidence needed to devise a strong legal strategy.
To learn more, contact Coby L. Wooten, Attorney At Law, P.C. and schedule your free case evaluation.