In the last month, Washington State has seen two large personal injury settlements regarding Seattle residents who were seriously hurt or killed while using a marked crosswalk. In fact, many cities across the country are questioning why so many pedestrian accidents take place in crosswalks and how they might help reduce the number of deaths and injuries that come out of those on foot using crosswalks correctly in urban areas.

Crosswalks And Washington State Pedestrians: Is Crosswalk Safety A Myth?

This month we covered two shocking lawsuit settlements that both involved Seattle pedestrians being seriously injured while using clearly marked crosswalks. In the first settlement, a man’s received $2.75 million from the City of Seattle after the man was killed in a Chinatown crosswalk with a history of pedestrian accidents. In the second case, a Seattle attorney received over $4 million after she suffered a debilitating brain injury and a shattered arm when a King County Metro bus struck her as she used a crosswalk in Seattle’s Alaskan Way.

While we all learn that using a crosswalk is the absolute safest way to cross a city street, are crosswalks really saving lives? Could Washington crosswalks save more lives with a few changes? According to the most recent reports, some cities see almost half of their pedestrian accidents occur in crosswalks – and many safety advocates believe that most of these crosswalk accidents are preventable. A number of cities across the country are considering making the crossing time longer at intersections, while others are examining crosswalks that have a long history of pedestrian accidents.

What can you do to minimize the chance of a pedestrian accident while using a Seattle crosswalk?

•    Realize that crosswalks don’t make you invincible.
Just because you are in a crosswalk doesn’t mean that a car won’t hit you or that a car sees that you are there.
•    Give yourself enough time to cross. You don’t want to be in the road when the light turns green, as some drivers will rush forward without checking for those on foot.
•    You’re never too old to look both ways. Check for speeding cars, drivers who aren’t paying attention, or other hazards. Don’t just rely on the traffic lights.
•    Look out for others. While crossing the street, watch for others on foot that might need assistance, such as children, the elderly, or the disabled. They may take longer to cross and could benefit from assistance.

Have you been injured in a Washington State pedestrian accident that took place in a well-marked crosswalk? Talk to a Seattle pedestrian accident attorney today.