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Seattle data: Most pedestrian crashes from cars turning at intersections


Mayor Durkan’s Vision Zero program goal is to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030, with steps including reducing speed limits to 25 mph, adding traffic cameras to school zones and intersections, and changing signals to let pedestrians walk first, among other measures.

The phase 2 analysis on bicycle and pedestrian incident trends was recently released, and includes 13 years of crash data between 2004 and 2017, totaling 6,817 pedestrian crashes and 5,108 bicycle crashes.

One of the key findings is that two-thirds of pedestrian and vehicle crashes involved a vehicle turning at an intersection, which the city is addressing by installing signals that give pedestrians a head start.

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Regarding speed limits adjustments, the city found that intersections with higher speed limits tended to feature more left turn-related crashes, a pattern believed to not only be related to left turns being made at higher speeds but drivers feeling additional pressure to make their turns in a rash decision.

The study also found that in areas with higher numbers of people walking, the risk of a collision is lower.

In 2018 seven of the 13 traffic fatalities involved pedestrians, and 98 of the 177 reported serious injuries were pedestrians and bicyclists.

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The 2020 budget adds $20 million to Vision Zero projects to build safety corridor projects. The city will additionally create a Major Crash Review Task Force to analyze serious collision, as well as Vision Zero Street Teams to raise awareness around safety issues and speed limit changes.

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