Throughout many cities in our modern society we have instituted crosswalk marking systems to assist the pedestrian on their journey to and fro. Some pedestrians are out shopping, out sightseeing, exercising, walking for pleasure, or even going to work. These roadmaps of crosswalks affords the pedestrian right-of-ways, increased safety, saved time, etc. Well, we would hope for increased safety, but that’s not always the case.
According to a study in San Diego there are apparently six times more crosswalk pedestrian accidents involving marked crosswalks as unmarked crosswalks. Unmarked crosswalks can be found at all intersections by State Law. As stated, they are unmarked, so why do they cause less injury than the marked crosswalks?
Reasons for Pedestrian Accidents on Marked Crosswalks
• False security
• Pedestrians less cautious
• Pedestrians not as defensive
Reasons for Pedestrian Accidents on Unmarked Crosswalks
• Pedestrians not as secure
• Pedestrians less confident
• Pedestrians take more precaution
Just because marked crosswalks are brighter and marked, does not make them safer. These are designed to help pedestrians move quicker through the complexities of confusing and busy intersections. Alone they are helpful, but not inherently safer. Marked crosswalks are much safer when combined with other traffic control devices such as walking signs, flashing lights, etc.
There are many factors than can lead up to increased hazards of marked crosswalks. These dangers can be amplified by:
• Pedestrian false security – believe the driver’s will stop just because the crosswalk is there
• Pedestrian over confidence
• Driver’s not slowing down