Upper Marlboro, MD -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/23/2019 -- As a traffic accident prevention method, Vision Zero aimed to reduce injuries and fatalities in urban areas. Now suburban areas are also considering the benefits of Vision Zero, according to The Washington Post. Indeed, Vision Zero initiatives will be put to the test in suburban Maryland to prevent car accidents and pedestrian collisions.
Many Maryland suburbs are car-centric areas. In other words, most residents travel by automobile, but many people also walk or rely on public transportation. More vehicles on the roads typically leads to a higher risk of a crash. Suburban Maryland car crashes can result in severe internal injuries. Vision Zero could help to prevent these collisions. While Vision Zero used to be employed largely in denser areas with more pedestrian traffic, it could help in suburbs.
Part of Vision Zero involves large structural redesigns. For example, roadways might need to be redesigned altogether with narrower lanes. At the same time, some Vision Zero changes are more readily feasible. For instance, Maryland suburbs could lower speed limits and install more crosswalks. At the same time, suburban areas could increase crosswalk visibility with flashing lines. Crosswalks could also be repainted with brighter paint. Moreover, suburban towns could add protected bicycle lanes and widen pedestrian medians. To be clear, Vision Zero is not just for large, urban areas anymore. Its methods can also be used in suburban regions where there are more motorists than pedestrians.
According to Maryland personal injury lawyer Rick Jaklitsch, it is more important than ever to prevent suburban crashes. As Jaklitsch explained, "suburban Maryland auto accidents often occur at high speeds, resulting in serious internal and life-threatening injuries." Jaklitsch emphasized that these collisions frequently occur because of another driver's negligence.
At the same time, implementing Vision Zero likely will be difficult in suburban Maryland. As The Washington Post articulates, a number of Maryland suburbs simply were designed with car traffic in Mind. Four-lane and six-lane roads aimed to allow automobiles to travel as quickly as possible are the norms in many areas. Those roads are not pedestrian-friendly. However, city planners could reduce the number of lanes on those roads in addition to implementing other Vision Zero schemes. Even reducing the speed limit can have significant effects. Indeed, pedestrians are much more likely to survive collision injuries in lower-speed crashes.
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