A new study using accident data from Insurance Corp. of B.C. and the Vancouver Police Department determined that nearly 75 percent of all pedestrian accidents occur at intersections, with relatively few caused by jaywalkers.
Of the just over 3,000 pedestrian accidents reported between 2005 and 2010, the vast majority involved vehicles making left or right hand turns as pedestrians attempted to make their way across an intersection. And, although these accidents comprised just 2 percent of all traffic accidents, they accounted for approximately 45 percent of all traffic fatalities in the city.
Jaywalking accounted for just 11 percent of all pedestrian accidents, but when you include pedestrians crossing at an intersection against the signal, the figure jumps to 18 percent. However, because a significant amount of these accidents tend to happen in the downtown core, the authors of the study recommend additional countdown signal timers and raised crosswalks at busy intersections, as well as improved lighting to help reduce nighttime collisions due to lack of visibility.
The city is also considering road safety awareness campaigns and extra enforcement at high-risk intersections to target the types of driving behavior that leads to the bulk of pedestrian accidents.
Pedestrian accidents are estimated to cost the city of Vancouver around $127 million per year, and although adults between the ages of 20 and 29 are the most likely to be involved in a collision, the study determined that seniors were the most likely to be fatally injured.
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