How Centerlining May Reduce Pedestrian Accidents
No one can doubt that Los Angeles County’s streets are in desperate need of major infrastructure changes to improve public safety. Our county has implemented a Vision Zero plan, a multi-year strategy to reduce traffic fatalities across multiple cities and protect pedestrians from reckless drivers. While there are many facets to this plan and it will not be complete for years, new research suggests that centerline hardening could cut pedestrian accidents in half.
What Is Centerlining?
Centerlining is a method of designing intersections with defensive structures to prevent vehicles from crossing into other lanes. It can take many forms, but the most common is adding bollards and rubber curbs to the center divider of a road, which prevents drivers from crossing diagonally into the other lanes when making left-hand turns. This forces drivers to travel more slowly through intersections and limits their ability to hit pedestrians in crosswalks.
Another method of centerline hardening involves adding bollards to both sides of a crosswalk. This method further forces drivers to turn outside of a crosswalk, reducing the chance they will encounter pedestrians. It also causes them to take turns slower and reduces the likelihood of intersection accidents with other vehicles.
How Does Centerlining Protect Pedestrians?
In practice, centerlining has proven effective in preventing pedestrian accidents. In D.C., for example, researchers found that pedestrian accidents were reduced by 70% at intersections where centerline hardening was implemented, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). The researchers looked at 10 intersections that had centerline hardening and, when compared to intersections that did not have it, found that collisions between drivers and pedestrians dropped drastically. They also discovered that drivers were forced to reduce their speed by 36%, which can play a huge factor in how serious an accident is.
Further research is still required to see how effective centerline hardening would be in Los Angeles County, but in the meantime, the City of Glendale may consider adding it to the city’s pedestrian safety plan.
What Is Glendale Doing to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents?
For the City of Glendale, improving pedestrian safety is one of the city’s top priorities. More than 40% of fatal traffic collisions in Glendale involve pedestrians, which has sparked our city to implement a citywide pedestrian safety plan as part of Los Angeles County’s larger Vision Zero program. Through this program, the city is pushing for several changes, including:
- 20 is Plenty – There is no doubt that speeding is a major factor in Glendale car accidents and reducing local speed limits to 20 mph could drastically improve our roads’ safety. Research has shown that at 20 mph, there is only a 5% chance of a pedestrian dying in a collision. For comparison, there is a 45% chance at 30 mph and an 85% chance at 40 mph.
- Safe Routes for Seniors – Seniors are involved in 25% of all pedestrian accidents in Glendale, but the city is hoping to implement crosswalk improvements like those in New York and Goleta to help reduce accidents.
- No Right on Red in Downtown – Following the example of our neighbors in Pasadena, the city is looking to add “No Right Turns on Red” traffic rules around key intersections in downtown Glendale. The city has noted that 12% of pedestrian accidents occur because drivers do not respect the right-of-way of pedestrians at crosswalks and hopes that these changes will prevent these collisions.
- Leading Pedestrian Intervals – Most crosswalks have timers to help pedestrians know how long they have until a light turns green, but Leading Pedestrian Intervals add additional time to the clock to give pedestrians a head start. There is already one such crosswalk in Glendale, but the city hopes to add more.
Injured by a Negligent Driver? Call Us Today!
While there is hope on the horizon with Los Angeles County’s Vision Zero plan, the fact of the matter is that Glendale’s streets are still incredibly dangerous for pedestrians. Until sweeping changes are made to our traffic law and road designs, pedestrians will continue to suffer at the hands of negligent and reckless drivers.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to a careless driver, reach out to the compassionate and dedicated Glendale car accident attorneys at Aghabegian & Associates, PC. We have more than 40 years of combined experience representing accident victims throughout Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, and the San Gabriel Valley. We firmly believe in fighting for the rights of accident victims and advocating for full compensation from dismissive insurance companies. To get your free case evaluation, call our office at (818) 507-4311.
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