Pedestrian deaths in the Unites States still remain high. From 2001 to 2010, 47, 392 pedestrian deaths have occurred in the Unites States. Most of these fatalities are adults. Approximately, every year 5,000 deaths+ are contributed to pedestrian versus auto crashes. In an effort to reduce pedestrian deaths and injury, a HAWK crosswalk has already been operating in Sacramento on Stockton Boulevard near UC Davis Hospital for over a year. This is a high foot traffic location. While the installation of the HAWK crosswalk is expensive, approximately $150,000 a piece, Sacramento has plans to put in nine additional crosswalks.
What is a HAWK crosswalk? A HAWK crosswalk is built specifically to provide pedestrians with added security when crossing a street. Instead of a light cycling from green to red for motorists, a few additional signals are added in an attempt to make sure the motorist is aware of the need to stop. When a pedestrian pushes the ‘walk’ button at a HAWK intersection, a signal will being to flash yellow to indicate to motorists that a pedestrian will soon be using the crosswalk. After flashing yellow, the signal will change to a solid yellow and then to a solid red. When the light cycles to a solid red, it is also accompanied by additional lights flashing red, which indicates that pedestrians are crossing. The hope is that the additional flashing yellow and flashing red signals will grab the motorists attention and help the motorist comply with stopping. The pedestrian also see something extra at HAWK intersections. The pedestrian is provided a flashing orange signal to notify the pedestrian that their time to cross the intersection is ending.
A video demonstrating how these intersections work can be seen here:
The impact these crosswalks will have in Sacramento remains to be seen. However, overall success has been reported across the United States in reducing pedestrian accidents and fatalities. Some cities report a 69% reduction in pedestrian crashes and a total reduction of 29% of roadway crashes at these intersections.
According to a September 2014 report prepared by WALKSacramento, it is hoped that Sacramento will move forward with installing a HAWK traffic signal near the Valley Hi community center. South Sacramento has higher pedestrian traffic than in other parts of the Sacramento community.
It is hoped that even if the motorist was inattentive to come to a complete stop, the flashing lights provided by the HAWK crosswalks do have an effect of at the very least of slowing motorists down. The slower a car is traveling when a car strikes a pedestrian increases the pedestrians chance of survival. A pedestrian hit by a driver traveling at 20 miles per hour has a nearly 95 percent chance of surviving. However, a pedestrian hit at 45 miles per hour has a 65 percent chance of being killed.
My office, Law Offices of Edward A. Smith, have been representing pedestrians injured in an auto accident since the 1980’s. We have seen the toll these impacts can have on a person and we pride ourselves in obtaining successful settlements in pedestrian vs. auto claims. We have been able to do this even when Traffic Collision Reports have not always been in favor of the pedestrian.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, please call me right away at (916) 921-6400. When you call, I will provide you with free, friendly advice at no obligation to you. You may also call us toll free from outside the 916 area at (800) 404-5400.
I’m a proud member of Million Dollar Advocates Forum. National personal injury attorneys who have won multiple Million Dollar Verdicts and settlements.