It was still daylight out when a pedestrian was struck and killed by a police officer in Stamford recently. The incident, which is currently being investigated by the Connecticut State Police is just another in a long line of these types of accidents that are involving pedestrians and cars along our streets. We have written here about it before that this is becoming an epidemic throughout the state of Connecticut and state safety officials are becoming more and more concerned as these incidents pile up.
Among the reasons why New Haven pedestrian accidents continue to occur are the bad habits of both drivers and pedestrians alike. Drivers are driving at a higher speed than ever before which is leading to more and more of these incidents. Pedestrians are walking, riding and running while being distracted by their phones and while using headphones which make them significantly less aware of their surroundings while they are traveling throughout the city. These problems are not new, but they are most certainly increasing in frequency and leading to more and more incidents along our city streets.
The safety measures that are required of drivers and pedestrians alike need to be taken more seriously, but so too do the issues facing our aging infrastructure that is not always conducive to safety along our streets. Infrastructure was cited as one of the main reasons why the pedestrian who was killed in Stamford was in the situation that they were in in the first place. Without proper infrastructure for pedestrians and motorists to share the road together there will not be on-going safety that will keep everyone free from harm. Some if the infrastructure measures that are important include the following;
1.) Sidewalks. Many main roadways in the city of New Haven have sidewalks along them for pedestrians to use while walking, running or riding throughout the city, but there are also quite a few older streets that do not have good, solid sidewalks that also happen to be narrow and difficult to travel along safely, especially as a pedestrian. In these cases it is important that a pedestrian find a different route and that vehicles that are traveling down these roads do so slowly and carefully. The addition of sidewalks to all streets would make a world of difference to the safety of all pedestrians throughout the city and the state.
2.) Street lights. While the above issue did not occur after dark, many pedestrian incidents do occur once the sun has gone down and the streets become much more dangerous for the safety of pedestrians. Adding more street lights to the streets that we are all traveling would illuminate areas where people are crossing and will light up the side of these streets where often pedestrians are virtually unable to be seen by motorists at night. While this can have a large price tag, it can pay huge dividends when pedestrians are traveling the street safely and without incident.
3.) Crosswalks and intersections. It is critical that all intersections have the appropriate infrastructure to keep pedestrians safe and that motorists obey the infrastructure at these destinations so they can be prepared to stop if a pedestrian is crossing. Intersections that do not have signals or at a bare minimum crosswalks can be extremely treacherous for pedestrians and should be looked at as possible hazards for those who are traveling on streets throughout the city.
Pedestrians and motorists must work together to keep each other safe, but the infrastructure that they are using can also play a role in making sure that everyone has the proper tools to remain safe when they are traveling throughout the city by any means. While New Haven pedestrian accidents are all too common there are a number of things we can do to help prevent them from happening and there are a number of things that the city and state safety officials can do to keep everyone safe as well. When we all work together there is less of a chance that there will be injuries from these types of accidents.
If you’ve been injured as a pedestrian or a motorist and you need to speak with an attorney to review your situation you can call our office and one of our experienced attorneys will review the details of your situation. Speak with an attorney at our office who will work with you to understand your situation and work to protect your long-term interests.