Every life is precious. Losing people through traffic accidents is a terrible waste. Unfortunately, this happens a lot every year even to unsuspecting individuals. You could be walking down the streets and get hit by a car. Even if you try to be careful, motorists might not see you or stop early enough to steer clear from you. An initiative called Target Zero was launched in Washington back in 2000 to mitigate and eventually eliminate deaths on the roads. The project showed signs of success in the first few years. However, recent figures reveal an alarming upward trend in terms of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths.
By the Numbers
In 2013, there were 60 deaths recorded due to biking and walking on public roads. Four years later, the numbers climbed to 122. Cases of serious injuries have also jumped by almost a third from 351 to 461. This massive rise has caused alarm bells to ring across the state. Seattle pedestrian accident statistics have particularly been worrisome for the city’s residents. The fatalities in this category comprise about 22% of all traffic deaths in 2017 whereas they only account for 14% in 2013. The majority of these cases involved regular people just walking in the streets, unaware of the tragedy about to unfold.
The stats are making people question the effectiveness of the Target Zero project. It is worth millions of dollars in tax money after all, and these are not the results that taxpayers are expecting. The authorities are not able to provide a solid explanation as to why this happened. They have theorized that it could be a combination of high speed limits, the rise of distracted driving, and more prevalent substance impairment. The project initiators have a self-imposed deadline of 2030 for Target Zero. Given the recent turn of events, it is evident that much more work is needed to reach their goal.
Many of the pedestrian fatalities were found to be impaired by alcohol or drugs. There is a massive effort to prevent motorists from drinking and driving but the same is not true for pedestrians. Perhaps they should make the message louder and clearer as part of the prevention campaign. They also note that inattention has played a big factor in all these. Some walkers may have been busy with their cell phones or other pieces of technology while trying to cross roads. The new distracted driving law for motorists can help reduce fatalities. Get an experienced Seattle injury attorney to help you if you were a victim of inattentive drivers.