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Could new safety measures prevent pedestrian deaths?

Walking on busy streets in Allentown can feel risky. Just ask any pedestrian: Between texting while driving, turning without signaling, disobeying traffic signals and numerous other bad driving habits, many drivers seem to disregard pedestrians completely.

Pedestrian deaths have increased for over a decade, and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is calling for a new safety approach. The board has suggested a three-pronged strategy for tackling the dangers that pedestrians face.

What are the three new recommendations?

The NTSB offers three major recommendations to combat personal injuries involving pedestrians. These measures include:

Improving vehicle safety technology

Manufacturers could upgrade their vehicles with better safety technology. For example, improving the reaction time of braking systems. Engineers could prevent distracted-driving accidents by implementing measures that prevent drivers from using some dashboard technology, like texting. Simple improvements such as this could save numerous lives.

Strengthening local infrastructure

Another way to prevent fatalities is to improve local infrastructure. Building more medians and sidewalks gives pedestrians a safer place to traverse. Reducing lanes can improve neighborhood safety for drivers and pedestrians alike. Funding and education initiatives can help public entities improve their infrastructure and help the public understand traffic safety.

Accurately measuring accident data

Researching pedestrian accidents and fatalities are also crucial to public safety. This allows scientists, public health analysts and city planners to better understand the cause of pedestrian fatalities. Detailed, accurate data can also hold the key to implementing better safety solutions.

Currently, the NTSB expects the rate of pedestrian deaths in 2017 to remain the same as the rate in 2016: Approximately 6,000. In the future, however, these three simple safety measures may prevent numerous personal injuries to pedestrians and motorists alike.