Pedestrian safety a particular concern in areas of poverty
Pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere, and for a variety of reasons. Certain locations, of course, are more dangerous than others and certain populations are at risk. Most of us would guess that elderly populations are more at risk than populations with a greater diversity of ages. Interestingly, locations with a greater concentration of low-income households are also at greater risk for pedestrian fatalities.
In fact, according to a recent article on Governing.com, poorer areas have roughly twice the fatality rate of wealthy communities That conclusion is based on an analysis of data from over 22,000 fatal pedestrian accidents between 2008 and 2012. The reason for the increased correlation, as could be guessed, is that streets in poverty-stricken areas are less likely to receive the attention they deserve from a safety standpoint and are thus more likely to become the location of pedestrian accidents.
Efforts to increase pedestrian safety have shown that it is important to create infrastructure that caters to walkers, not only in the inner city but also in suburban areas where poverty continues to rise. This includes improvements in roadways, but also better transportation options. Infrastructure isn’t the only factor, though. Driver safety is also important. Pedestrians, too, need to do their part to ensure their own safety. All of these things need to be part of the picture.
That being said, pedestrians who are harmed in an accident do have the right to hold the offending driver accountable and to seek damages for their injuries. Those interested in pursuing such a case should be sure to work with an experienced attorney to ensure the best result in their case.
Source: Governing, “Pedestrians Dying at Disproportionate Rates in America’s Poorer Neighborhoods,” Mike Maciag, August 2014.