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Are Pedestrian Accidents on the Rise in Nashville, TN?

Are Pedestrian Accidents on the Rise in Nashville, TN?

Nashville, TN is a wonderful place to live. The music city provides opportunities for people from all walks of life to live, work, and play in a beautiful slice of Tennessee. While there is much to enjoy between the music scene, the nightlife, and the everyday, there are also some concerns that come with being in a major metropolis.

Car accidents are always a possibility when you have hundreds and even thousands of vehicles trying to get from one destination to another. It can lead to congested highways, busy intersections, and traffic jams, especially in downtown and on major highways. One of the dangers that arise with so many vehicles in one place is the potential for pedestrian accidents.

Commuters in vehicles are not the only people trying to travel through the city of Nashville. There are also plenty who decide to use mass transit or travel by foot or bike to get from point A to point B. With so much traffic to navigate both on the roads and sidewalks, this can cause serious injuries or even death when vehicles and pedestrians collide.

Pedestrian Deaths Rising According to Metro Nashville Police Department

While local government, authorities, and non-profits like Walk Bike Nashville are doing everything they can to make the city safer for pedestrians, the unfortunate reality is that pedestrian deaths have risen in the last year. The Metro Nashville Police Department reports that there have been over 200 pedestrian fatalities in the last five years. In 2022, traffic deaths of pedestrians reached a record number of 49, up from 39 in the previous year. This indicates an alarming trend where more pedestrian accidents are occurring each year.

While the results of pedestrian collisions do not always include traffic deaths, there are still plenty of instances where people are getting seriously injured because of vehicles.

Common Causes of Nashville Pedestrian Accidents

Infrastructure plays a huge role in the number of accidents that occur involving pedestrians and vehicles each year, but so too does the decision-making of individuals. Here are a few of the most common causes of Nashville pedestrian collisions.

Dangerous Intersections/Roads

In any metropolitan across the United States, there are going to be some intersections that make pedestrian safety difficult. It could be the result of heavy foot traffic, multiple lanes of vehicles, or confusing patterns that signal pedestrians’ crossings. In Nashville, there are a few dangerous intersections that are particularly risky for those who are walking or biking through the area. For example, the Murfreesboro Pike and Milwood Drive intersection can be a complicated location to navigate for drivers and pedestrians. Additionally, Gallatin Pike and Neelys Bend Road create another dangerous crossing. Other dangerous roads in Nashville include Parks Boulevard, West Trinity Lane, Lafayette Street, Dickerson Pike, Main Street, Nolensville Pike, and McGavock Pike.

Ignorance of Signals

Many of Nashville’s streets are governed by traffic and pedestrian signals that are meant to eliminate traffic-related deaths and injuries. In some cases, people may be ignorant of what signals mean or may choose to ignore them entirely. It is critical that all drivers and pedestrians observe all laws and signals to maintain safety. Drivers should be aware of posted speed limits. Pay attention to flashing lights and what they indicate for crossings and intersections. Understand who has the right of way in any given situation. Otherwise, a pedestrian could get hurt.

Poor Lighting/Conditions

Though most of Nashville is well-lit at night, there are some streets and corners that may not have as much visibility as others. It can be difficult to know how much space is between your vehicle and the sidewalks or crosswalks when it gets darker outside. People must be especially careful in these areas to avoid any incidents that could harm either party. Additionally, poor road conditions like potholes or wet surfaces can cause vehicles to swerve or lose control and collide with people on the sidewalk. Proceed with caution when conditions are not optimal for driving or walking in Nashville.

Transit Stops

Many people rely on public transportation to move through Nashville. This can increase pedestrian safety as it reduces the density of sidewalk and crosswalk use. However, high-frequency transit stops can result in collisions. Larger vehicles like buses may block visibility and are harder for other cars to navigate around, leading to potentially dangerous circumstances. For both drivers and pedestrians, be careful near busy transit stops.

Vision Zero Aims to Reduce Pedestrian Fatalities

The Nashville Department of Transportation has enacted the Vision Zero Plan. The Vision Zero Action Plan aims to reduce the small percentage of pedestrians found dead because of collisions all the way down to zero. With the help of the Metro Council and non-profits like Walk Bike Nashville, the transportation director hopes that the Vision Zero Plan can make this metropolitan area completely safe for those who choose to walk, bike, or use mass transit.

The Vision Zero Action Plan includes steps like lowering speed limits, improving traffic signals, and reducing congestion on the streets and sidewalks of Nashville.

Involved in a Pedestrian Accident? Contact a Lawyer

Whether you were in the car, on the sidewalk, or riding in the bike lane, the process of navigating insurance or injury claims can be complicated. You have certain legal rights if the collision was not your fault, and one of these rights is the ability to pursue fair compensation to cover damages after the incident. Damages could include medical bills, lost wages, or even emotional suffering.

Contact a lawyer soon for a free consultation about your pedestrian accident case and make sure that you are looking out for your financial future after the collision.

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