Road safety and pedestrian accidents

Pedestrians in the Greater Toronto Area are at a serious risk of injury and death while sharing the road with vehicles. According to a report from the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, the safety of vehicle occupants has been improving at a much faster pace than the safety of pedestrians has. The CCMTA believes that this may be because road systems are built mainly for the convenience of motor vehicle drivers.

Motor vehicle crashes that occurred between 1989 and 2009 resulted in the death of 9,000 pedestrians. Hundreds of thousands of pedestrians who were hit by a vehicle during that same period were injured. Throughout the past 20 years, pedestrian fatality numbers have remained stable without much improvement.

The CCMTA believes that Canada is falling behind other countries like the Netherlands and Sweden when it comes to improving road safety for pedestrians. Past notions about maximizing vehicle capacity on roads are now being replaced in other parts of the world with urban designs that place a higher priority on pedestrian and bicycle safety. In the Netherlands, a dramatic decrease in pedestrian deaths has been achieved with the implementation of pedestrian safety measures. In 2008, there were 56 pedestrian deaths in the Netherlands compared to the 609 pedestrian deaths that occurred in 1970.

Regardless of how the roads are designed, car drivers are expected to watch out for pedestrians on the road. If a driver hits a pedestrian, the driver may be liable for the injuries suffered by that individual. A lawyer may be able to help an injured victim of a pedestrian accident to file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider in order to seek compensation.

Source: Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators , “Countermeasures to Improve Pedestrian Safety in Canada “, October 19, 2014