Daylighting and Pedestrian Accident Prevention

A controversial method of reducing accidents has seen significant success in one New Jersey town. A strategy known as “daylighting” has contributed to seven years without a traffic fatality in the city of Hoboken. That success may lead other communities, including our own here in Texas, to consider following suit.

What Is Daylighting?

Intersections are common sites for traffic, bicycle and pedestrian accidents. In an effort to reduce these incidents, some cities have sought to improve visibility. They’ve done this by removing parking spaces from a large area around the intersection. The practice is referred to as “daylighting” because it makes it easier to see what’s around you.

There are several ways to accomplish daylighting. Obviously, making it illegal to park near intersections is one component, but it’s often not enough on its own. Hoboken added a feature known as “bumpouts” to solve the problem of illegal parkers.

Bumpouts, or curb extensions, make the sidewalk stick out into the road a few extra feet. It becomes impossible to park or drive there. It also gives pedestrians a few extra feet of relative safety when looking for oncoming cars.

The Obvious Drawback

Pedestrian accidents are most common where there are a lot of pedestrians. That tends to occur in places where parking spaces are at a premium. Daylighting removes street parking options where they’re in great demand. When parking is already a headache, not many people will celebrate making it harder.

A Vision Zero Policy

Daylighting is one of the features popularized by Vision Zero. Vision Zero guidelines have the stated goal of reducing traffic deaths to zero. While this may seem far-fetched in a country where tens of thousands of people die in fatal car accidents every year, it’s still a worthy target.

Seven years without a traffic death in a city of 60,000 people is an impressive accomplishment. Not surprisingly, it took more than daylighting to make it happen. In addition to reduced parking near intersections, Hoboken also reduced speed limits and implemented staggered traffic lights. The policies work in concert to reduce the chances of a fatal accident.

Harder to Park, Easier to Drive

For many, the thought of driving through the city is enough to inspire anxiety. While daylighting might make parking more of a hassle, it does lead to easier driving. Pedestrians are easier to spot. More visibility is better for the driver and the pedestrian alike.

Call an Experienced Dallas Personal Injury Attorney

At Ted B. Lyon & Associates in Texas, we help the victims of serious accidents. Our lawyers have helped countless people seek compensation for injuries suffered in traffic accidents of all types. To schedule a consultation with our team, call 800-TedLyon or 800-833-5966 or contact us online.