Pedestrians Face More Safety Risks in Nashville Compared to Other Cities
With areas like Broadway, Hillsboro Village, and 12 South, Nashville has no shortage of walkable neighborhoods and business districts with restaurants and bars. However, pedestrians who walk in those areas may be at a higher risk than pedestrians in other cities.
Per a report by WKRN.com, the Smart Growth America group conducted a study that found that between 2005 and 2014, 209 people were hit by cars and killed while traveling on foot in Nashville. That number makes Nashville the 37th most dangerous city for pedestrians out of 104 large cities that were analyzed by the group.
A spokesperson for Walk-Bike Nashville told reporters that she rides her bike to work every day and that one of the biggest concerns in the city is drivers traveling at or above 40 mph on the city’s major corridors, as well as areas in Gallatin, Nolensville, and around Murfreesboro Pike.
Metro surveyed several residents about the city’s bike lanes, and around 80 percent of them said that they feel unsafe using those lanes. In addition, the city also lacks crosswalks in many areas, and in some areas, pedestrians must walk around half a mile to find a suitable and safe area to cross a street.
What Are the Biggest Factors that Lead to Pedestrian Accidents?
Whether you’re going to work, school, a local store, or just out enjoying the fresh air, walking is a great way to get exercise and avoid the hassle of traffic, parking, and high gas prices. But with those perks comes the increased danger of being involved in a pedestrian accident. When pedestrians are struck by vehicles, their injuries can be severe and are often life-threatening.
To reduce your risks the next time you head out on foot, it’s important to be aware of these common risk factors:
- Alcohol consumption
Consuming alcohol increases the risk of pedestrian accidents in two ways. First, it increases the likelihood that a driver will fail to see a pedestrian in a crosswalk, drift over onto a sidewalk or shoulder of the road where a pedestrian is walking, or turn into the path of a pedestrian. Second, it increases the risks of pedestrians failing to stay out of the roadway and out of the path of oncoming traffic.
- Jaywalking and crossing outside of crosswalks
Crosswalks are created specifically to keep pedestrians safer when they need to cross the road. Pedestrians who cross in areas outside of crosswalks significantly increase their chances of being struck by vehicles. Additionally, pedestrians should always wait to get a “Walk” signal before crossing at light-activated intersections and crosswalks.
- Nighttime and periods of low visibility
Whether it’s raining, snowing, or foggy—or just a poorly lit area of a city—walking during times or areas of poor visibility is dangerous for pedestrians. If you must walk somewhere during these conditions, carry a flashlight and wear brightly colored and reflective clothing to make yourself as visible possible. You should also walk against the flow of traffic.
- Speeding vehicles
The speed limits in residential areas, school zones, and densely populated urban areas are often low for a reason—there are usually large numbers of pedestrians nearby. Drivers who speed through these areas are much more likely to strike pedestrians due to having less time to react to pedestrians stepping out into the roadway. In addition, pedestrians that are struck by vehicles traveling at high speeds are more likely to suffer serious injuries.
Nashville has made strides to become a more pedestrian-friendly city by adding sidewalks and crosswalks in many neighborhoods and business areas. Despite these improvements, it’s still ultimately up to both drivers and pedestrians to create safe environments. Drivers should always be aware of the presence of pedestrians, regardless of where they’re driving, and pedestrians should do everything in their power to stay out of the roadway and make themselves as visible as possible.
If you or someone you know was injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent driver, the Nashville pedestrian accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law may be able to help. We can investigate your case and file a claim for compensation on your behalf for expenses like medical bills and lost wages. Don’t wait another day to get the help you deserve—dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form.