Using Hybrid Pedestrian Signals to Reduce Accidents

Each year in California and around the country, pedestrians are struck by vehicles and are killed or seriously injured. While many of these types of accidents occur in mid-block areas rather than at intersections, improving pedestrian signals at crosswalks can significantly reduce both the number of accidents and the fatalities that result from them.

According to the Department of Transportation, hybrid signals can be placed at the road's edge or suspended over a crosswalk with mast arms. They consist of two red lights that are horizontal to one another, with a yellow light underneath. The red lights alternate, signalling drivers to slow down when a pedestrian is entering a crosswalk, then allowing them to proceed when the pedestrian has made it safely across to the other side.

Reportedly, these types of hybrid signals are more effective than the traditional flashing ones used by many municipalities. The DOT reports that in areas where they have been installed, there has been a demonstrated 69 percent reduction in pedestrian accidents and a 29 percent reduction in accidents overall in the location.

It has been found that more than 70 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur when people attempt to cross the road in the middle of a block. Pedestrians should instead only cross the street at intersections or crosswalks. Drivers should also remain alert to pedestrians who are walking on the sides of streets so they can have enough time to slow down if they walk into traffic. A person who is hit in a crosswalk by a car or a truck may want to consult with a personal injury attorney. Legal counsel may find it advisable to help the injured client seek damages for the losses that have been sustained by filing a lawsuit against the driver who failed to yield the right of way.

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