Pedestrians know that each time they are walking on sidewalks near busy roadways that there is always the chance that an accident can happen. Many of the roadways in our communities were not designed with pedestrian safety in mind.
Falls Church is receiving significant attention due to the number of serious incidents that have happened over the years. The Culmore neighborhood has seen more than 15 pedestrian accidents since 2015, resulting in 4 deaths. People who live in the neighborhood, as well as traffic safety experts, attribute the causes of the accidents to many different factors, including poor lightning and vehicles exceeding speed limits.
Officials are examining ways to help improve pedestrian safety, but, significant overhauls can take time to implement. Temporary barriers may be put in place to help protect pedestrians, but they are not a long-term solution.
Protecting yourself in dangerous intersections
Unfortunately, the inability to make immediate changes places most of the burden of pedestrian safety on the pedestrians themselves. If you walk, run or cycle in Northern Virginia, you have no doubt encountered an intersection where you feel less than safe. Many places lack the necessary safety enhancements needed to keep all users of the road free from potential harm.
When crossing a busy roadway, make sure that you do so in a designated crosswalk, as it is the place where motorists most expect to see you. Also, cross only when you have the right of way, as even if it seems like there is no traffic coming, some drivers may do unexpected things that can place you at risk of injury. If you are using a sidewalk at night, make sure to wear bright or reflective clothing so that motorists can see you.
Following all of these safety precautions and traffic safety rules will not completely eliminate the chance that an accident may happen. Remain alert when waiting to cross so that you can try to take action to avoid an injury.