The Road Less Traveled: Pedestrian Safety
The Delaware beaches are adding new safety precautions along Coastal Highway due to past issues with pedestrian and bicyclist crashes with oncoming vehicles. Over 80,000 vehicles use Coastal Highway on a typical summer weekend. From 2018 to 2021, there has been 69 pedestrian and bicycle crashes from Lewes to Fenwick, and ten have been fatal. Delaware ranks as the third most dangerous state when it comes to pedestrian deaths. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Delaware’s beach traffic is returning to pre-pandemic levels. Pedestrian and bicycle safety is the main concern on Coastal Highway. Safety measures are being taken to ensure that all people visiting the beaches this summer will have a sense of security when crossing the street.
New wooden posts are being placed onto the medians in Dewey Beach outside of The Starboard, where pedestrians commonly dash across the street, as well as Read Avenue to prevent pedestrians from crossing a busy highway where there is no designated crosswalk. Flashing beacons were also recently added to alert drivers of pedestrians, and the town lowered its’ speed limit from 30 to 25 miles per hour.
Pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities have doubled over the past decade. Here are some helpful safety tips for pedestrians and bicyclists.
· If the crosswalk has a walk signal, press the button to stop traffic. If there is a flashing beacon
` button available, press that as well.
· If there is no crosswalk available, find a well-lit area and wait for a stop in traffic. Then
proceed across the street while looking for possible oncoming traffic.
· Make eye contact with drivers to alert them of the intention to cross the street.
· Make sure both lanes of traffic have stopped.
Here are some safety tips for drivers:
· Follow the posted speed limit.
· Be mindful of pedestrians while pulling out of a driveway or parking space.
· Demonstrate an understanding of traffic laws.
· You must stop at crosswalks when pedestrians are present.
· If another vehicle is stopped beside you at a crosswalk, make sure you stop as well.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, the lawyers at Kimmel Carter can help. Contact us at 302-565-6100 for a free consultation.