A recent study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says changes at some intersections could lessen the number of pedestrians being hit by cars making a left turn.
The IIHS report said that more than half of the crashes that involved pedestrians in 2018 occurred at intersections. Those incidents led to more than 6,700 serious injuries and over 1,500 deaths of pedestrians. Of the crashes, almost one-third of them happened when the cars were turning left.
Now, the IIHS recommends widespread additions of what are called bollards and rubber curbs to intersections. They are obstacles that force drivers to turn at a right angle instead of cutting across a crosswalk, meaning drivers will need to slow down to turn and pay more attention – allowing them to better see people on foot.
This isn’t a new invention, but one that the IIHS says is so effective that it should be put into broader use. Since 2016, New York City has installed such additions at more than 300 intersections.
An IIHS researcher said that with bollards and curbs, drivers reduce speeds, citing a statistic that said the obstacles resulted in 36 percent fewer left turns made at speeds of 15 miles per hour or faster. When speeds went from 17 mph to 25 mph, the odds of a serious pedestrian injury during a left turn increased from 10% to 25%.
Any road changes to reduce pedestrian deaths or injuries are welcome additions — but even the best safety innovations can’t always stop a negligent driver from causing injuries. If you were injured in a pedestrian accident with a motor vehicle, find out more about your legal right to seek compensation.