479 Vehicle-Pedestrian Crashes in 2009

Erica at PubliCola shares some statistics from SDOT in 2009:

  • Car collisions with pedestrians were also down, but they remained more common than bike collisions, with 479 crashes (11 of them fatal) last year alone. Sixty-eight percent of the time, the pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk (just 8 percent of all crashes were pedestrians crossing intersections against the signal).
  • Although pedestrian and bike collisions were the most likely collisions to be fatal (accounting for 11 of 24 fatalities), overall, driving a car remains the most dangerous way to get around. Ninety-three percent of all accidents in 2009 were between cars or cars and stationery objects (like parked cars, which accounted for 24 percent of all car-on-car crashes, or things like phone poles and street signs, which made up another 6 percent).
  • Finally, the data suggest that if you’re going to get drunk, just stay home. Although just one cyclist was hit by a drunk driver in 2009, five drunk cyclists were involved in crashes, along with 11 pedestrians. (Two pedestrians “had taken medication,” one was under the influence of drugs, and one was “apparently asleep,” according to the report.

While it’s good that pedestrian accidents declined in 2009, accident and fatality numbers are still way too high. 251 of these accidents were at least partially the fault of drivers. With driving on the decline, hopefully these accidents will continue to decrease. But more vigilant prosecution of dangerous driving, as well as some changes to protect pedestrians (e.g. disallowing right-on-red in some locations), could help make Seattle a safer place to walk.


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