Archive for August, 2018

Niagara Falls Boulevard Pedestrian Accidents Spur Safety Change

16
Aug 2018
By:

Buffalo personal injury lawyerA section of Niagara Falls Boulevard has proven to be so dangerous for pedestrians that safety officials have vowed to make immediate road safety changes. The section of I-290 separating Tonawanda and Amherst is so congested with confusing vehicle traffic patterns that it has become a deadly ordeal for pedestrians trying to make their way across.

Such accidents can lead to severe and lasting injuries because pedestrians are vulnerable road users. They are more prone to the worst injuries because they lack the same protections as vehicle occupants: seat belts, airbags, windshields, etc.

Arterial Road and Intersection Dangers

Data from a new national study affirms what many locals and have known for some time: From 2009 to 2016, pedestrian accident deaths at intersections have spiked. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concluded that pedestrian fatalities, specifically on arterial roads like these, have climbed 67 percent in just seven years.

Arterial roads account for just four percent of streets nationally, described as wide thoroughfares in cities and suburbs designed to accommodate heavily traffic traveling at or near speeds akin to those on expressways.

In “dark conditions,” i.e., at night, pedestrian deaths on arterial roads overall are up 56 percent.

Measures to Lower Pedestrian Accident Deaths

The towns of Tonawanda and Amherst have taken action by breaking ground on a street lighting project in the region, according to The Buffalo News, investing approximately $1 million for new light poles in between the two towns for a stretch of 3 miles.

But that may not be enough. A representative for the IIHS said that while extra lighting will indeed be helpful, it isn’t the only simple and cost-efficient measure towns could take. Other methods include:

  • Lowering the speed limit
  • Installing new speed cameras
  • Widening cameras
  • Changing crosswalk settings to allow pedestrians more time to cross

It’s not that New York’s pedestrian death rates are even that unique. The Governors Highway Safety Association reported earlier this year that the number of pedestrian fatalities nationwide last year reached 6,000 – the second year in a row it’s reached heights not seen in a quarter century. Officials with that agency opined there are two likely reasons for this:

  • Smart phone use proliferation
  • Approval of medical marijuana in a growing number of states

Although these factors haven’t definitively been linked to the rising number of pedestrian accident deaths in New York or elsewhere, it’s widely accepted that both factors contribute to distraction, which we know for certain is behind a rise in the ballooning number of overall traffic deaths.

If you have been been injured in a pedestrian accident in the greater Buffalo area, you should speak to an experienced attorney at the Law Offices of James Morris.