When it was launched in 2015, Seattle’s “Vision Zero” initiative boasted the admirable goal of eradicating traffic fatalities by 2030. However, a recent report suggests that the city has a way to go if it truly wants to see traffic deaths go down.
Common causes of fatal car crashes
Vision Zero was implemented to address common causes of fatal car crashes. Some common causes of car crashes include:
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Poorly designed streets
- Lack of bicycle lanes
Other common causes of fatal car crashes in general include drunk driving, distracted driving, failure to yield and unsafe lane changes.
Seattle has already lowered speed limits, added more bicycle lanes, gave pedestrians more time to cross controlled intersections and has fixed poorly designed streets.
These efforts have resulted in some improvement. For example, Nickerson Street now sees 23% fewer car crashes, Dexter Avenue sees 19% fewer car crashes and Rainier Avenue South sees 24% fewer car crashes.
Nevertheless, these efforts have done little to lower traffic fatalities in the city.
Since the implementation of Vision Zero, Seattle sees an average of 28 traffic fatalities annually. While this fatality rate is lower than that of other similarly sized cities, it is still a troubling concern.
Most fatalities involve the homeless, bicyclists and pedestrians.
For these reasons, a monthslong review of Vision Zero’s policies was conducted and compiled into a report.
The report suggests that for Vision Zero to be a success, speed limits must be lowered even further.
In addition, the report identified a need to make authorizing safety improvements and funding safety projects more efficient.
Finally, the report suggests that enforcement efforts should be improved, specifically, via the use of red-light cameras. The current use of red-light cameras in the city has shown to be effective.
If you are involved in a car crash
Clearly Seattle must make a more concerted effort in order to reach the goal of eliminating fatal car crashes in the city. Until then, people will still lose their lives in collisions caused by other drivers.
If you or a loved one are involved in a car crash in Seattle, you may have grounds to pursue a claimed based on negligence, if the other motorist failed to drive with the safety of others in mind, and this lack of care caused you to be injured or your loved one to be killed.