Crosswalks can be dangerous places to walk. They’re “danger areas” where foot traffic intersects with car and truck traffic and, all too often, these alleged “safe zones” are the scenes of terrible pedestrian accidents in Arkansas. A pedestrian, rightfully so, feels a sense of safety while walking within a crosswalk. My family and I walk in our neighborhood often, and I would say about 40% of the time people will stop when someone is standing on the street, waiting to cross at a crosswalk. The other 60% of the time the cars will zoom right past and expect you to wait. Not exactly how a crosswalk is intended to be used. Some pedestrians understand and follow the rules of the road when it comes to crosswalks, therefore the pedestrian doesn’t think twice that someone else wouldn’t, so the walker will walk within a crosswalk and expect the car to stop. After all, it’s the law. Right? Unfortunately sometimes a person behind the wheel of a two-ton vehicle has the mentality that they are bigger and the person will just have to wait for them to pass. This is when terrible accidents happen. In big cities, such as New York or San Francisco, pedestrians walk as soon as the “Walk” light changes, and the vehicles know they are to stop, period.
When a two-ton vehicle hits an unprotected pedestrian—even at slow speeds—the physical damage can be tremendous. Nowhere in Arkansas is that danger more concentrated than in Arkansas’ biggest college town: Fayetteville. There is no protection for the pedestrian, so any contact with a moving vehicle can result in life-changing injuries or death. Continue reading