Report Finds Nashville as One of the Most Dangerous Cities for Pedestrians
In a study released by the group Smart Growth America, the Nashville area was found to be one of the most dangerous urban environments for pedestrian accidents. Known as an advocacy group for pedestrian and urban design issues, Smart Growth looked at the number of pedestrian deaths and how often people walked in cities across America in order to calculate which urban environments were the most dangerous to pedestrians.
Nashville Pedestrian Deaths
The Nashville metro area had a total of 210 pedestrian deaths between the years 2003 and 2012. In the study it ranked fifteenth out of 51 cities selected for the report. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, so far this year there have been a total of 37 pedestrian deaths across the state with a significant majority happening in Nashville and Memphis.
Last year, there were a number of pedestrian casualties that happened in the Nashville area. A police officer was killed by a motor home when he was directing traffic. In another incident, a woman in Murfreesboro was killed when she was struck by a police car, and a teenage boy was killed on the interstate while helping to change a flat tire.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the Smart Growth Study was to highlight the number of pedestrian accidents and deaths as a means to bring change to urban areas that the group has identified as dangerous. A spokesperson from the advocacy group stated that “We are allowing an epidemic of pedestrian fatalities, brought on by streets designed for speed and not safety, to take nearly 5,000 lives a year — a number that increased six percent between 2011 and 2012.”
The group believes that many of these deaths could have been prevented by better policies and designs of urban environments. Smart Growth recommended in its report that all cities that are dangerous to pedestrians should look into the building of more sidewalks, high visibility crosswalks, refuge islands, and reduced traffic speeds. In addition, people over the age of 65 years old were seen as overrepresented in the study and account for over 20 percent of all pedestrian fatalities across the country.
Specifically in regards to Nashville, the group pointed out that the city has lagged in building infrastructure that would keep its pedestrians safer. In addition, members from the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization have admitted that some areas of the city have no sidewalks or narrow ones, intersections are too far apart, and it requires pedestrians to walk long distances to find an actual crosswalk. “People are going to cross where it’s convenient for them to cross. If there’s not the appropriate infrastructure there to help them cross safely, that’s one of the issues.”
Call a Nashville Lawyer Today
If you or someone that you know has been injured in a pedestrian accident in the Nashville area, the personal injury lawyers at Calhoun Law, PLC can help. Call the office or contact us today for a free and private review of your claims.