The Problem: Each year, more than 40,000 people — the population of a small city — are needlessly killed on American streets and thousands more are injured. We call this suffering traffic “accidents” — but, in reality, we have the power to prevent traffic collisions.
The significant loss of life exacts a tragic toll, extending beyond personal loss to deep community impacts, including: personal economic costs and emotional trauma to those suffering; and significant taxpayer spending on emergency response and long-term healthcare costs. And because so many fear for their safety on our streets, there is no true freedom of mobility, and, as a result, we compromise our public health with increasing rates of sedentary diseases and higher carbon emissions.
Every year the community of Arlington suffers injuries and deaths due to unsafe driving:
- An average of 127 pedestrians were crashed into annually (2017-2019)
- 4 pedestrians were killed and 98 pedestrians were seriously / visible injured in 2019
- An average of 68 bicyclist were crashed into annually (2017-2019)
- In 2019 no bicyclist were killed but a 3 year high of 59 injured
- Death and injury on our streets are unacceptable and preventable
Two main factors that lead to tragic, but preventable injuries:
- SPEED: Speed is responsible the same number of pedestrian and bicyclist injuries as driving under the influence. Traffic speed is the strongest predictor of whether a person is seriously injured or killed when hit by a car.
- FAILURE TO YIELD: Motorists often do not yield to pedestrians or cyclist, especially when vehicles are turning. A “failure to yield” to walkers / bikers in crosswalks accounts for a significant percentage of crashes into people walking and biking.
Vision Zero: A data-driven, multidisciplinary strategy that works to address the many factors contributing to safe mobility, including roadway design, speeds, behaviors, technology and policies, and in doing so eliminate all traffic fatalities and injuries. Arl FSS is advocating for Arlington County to adopt a Vision Zero plan as soon as possible.