23 Percent Traffic Increase on Demonbreun St. Creates Dangers for Pedestrians
The influx of new businesses, condominiums, residents, and tourists in downtown Nashville and on Demonbreun Street has significantly increased traffic in the area, with data from the Tennessee Department of Transportation showing that daily traffic on the street increased by 23 percent from 2011 to 2014.
According to a report by the Tennessean, the increase in traffic also contributed to an increase in pedestrian injuries. During the past five years, Nashville Metro Police say that there have been 14 total incidents where pedestrians were struck by vehicles on or near Demonbreun Street. In 2011, two young men were struck and killed by a vehicle while crossing the street near the roundabout.
Residents of the area say that the biggest issue with the street is traffic congestion and pedestrian safety. Because of the booming construction and new hotels, apartments, and office buildings in the area, some residents say they don’t feel safe when traveling on foot.
A local business owner says that pedestrian dangers may be alleviated with more signage or even the installation of a pedestrian bridge near the roundabout.
Important Pedestrian Safety Tips You Can Follow from the NHTSA
Just as safe driving requires following the rules of the road and being vigilant, alert, and cautious at all times, safely traveling on foot requires the same levels of concentration and focus. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were 4,735 pedestrian deaths in the United States in 2013. To help reduce that number, the department is working hard to promote pedestrian safety awareness for both drivers and pedestrians themselves.
If you’re traveling somewhere on foot, following these tips can help reduce your risk of being involved in an accident:
- Cross the street at designated crosswalks whenever possible.
Crossing the street is the most dangerous part of traveling on foot. When you need to cross the street, always do so at designated crosswalks—preferably those with traffic lights and walk signals. But even when crossing a street after getting the right of way, it’s still important to look both ways to make sure that the road is clear, as drivers may run the red light or turn into the intersection without looking for pedestrians.
- Avoid distractions while you’re walking.
Campaigns against distracted driving have made it an issue that most people are aware of, but distracted walking can be just as dangerous. If you’re traveling on foot, avoid reading or using your smartphone. It’s also important to avoid listening to loud music or anything that can reduce your ability to hear the sounds of nearby vehicles. Safe walking requires the uninhibited use of your eyes and ears at all times.
- Wear clothing that other drivers can easily see.
Whether you’re walking at night or during the day, drivers may have trouble seeing you. Most drivers are accustomed to looking out for other vehicles when they’re on the road, and that means they may overlook pedestrians—especially if they’re wearing dark clothing during times of low visibility. Wearing bright colors and reflective textures can make you much more visible to drivers and much safer while walking on the sidewalk or on the shoulder of the road.
In addition to these tips, the NHTSA also stresses that the definition of pedestrian doesn’t just apply to people who are walking in or near streets and heavily trafficked roads. Any time you step out of your vehicle, you are a pedestrian—and that includes places like parking lots, parking garages, residential neighborhoods, work sites, and any other areas where vehicles are in motion.
Pedestrian accidents can often result in serious and debilitating injuries for victims. At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville pedestrian accident attorneys have helped many innocent victims receive compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering after they were hit by negligent or careless drivers. You shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s mistakes—get in touch with our legal team today by dialing (615) 200-1111 or completing a free initial consultation form.