The agonizing crunch catapulted Mrs. Vouch Chau’s smashed body 106 feet from the point of impact.
Every second of deadly trauma played out like a violent, slow motion movie for Mrs Chau’s horrified children and husband who were trailing mere inches behind her on the crosswalk.
Only fate kept the entire family from being brutally wiped out by the crash and while Mrs. Chau’s earthly struggles were now over, the anguish and anxiety was only beginning for the survivors of this catastrophe, including for the man who killed her.
Another One Bites The Dust
Sixty-eight thousand pedestrians are injured on American roads every year according to a 2009 report by the United States Department of Transportation and that makes walking one of the most dangerous modes of transportation when we contemplate deaths per mile of travel.
But do most people consider walking to be dangerous?
In 2010, vehicle / pedestrian conflicts at crosswalks throughout the United States will pile up more than 5,000 battered bodies of innocent men, woman and children who were simply going about their business when struck down dead.
And given the high number of good folks who are biting the bullet just for crossing the bloody road, its probably not a bad idea to contemplate declaring an all-out War On Cross Walking, if we really want to save some lives.
Take a look at these heart wrenching and needless calamities involving crosswalks: click on links
Crippled Man in Wheel Chair Killed at Cross Walk – Edmonton, Alberta
88 year old woman Killed on Cross Walk – Mystic, Connecticut
21 year old student Killed on Cross Walk – Ocean City, New Jersey
15 year old girl Killed on Cross Walk – Santa Rosa, California
Mother of two, Age 33, Killed on Cross Walk – Seattle, Washington
28 yr old mother of 12 wk old baby Killed on Cross Walk – Toronto, Canada
91 year old Killed on Cross Walk – North Andover, Massachusetts
84 year old woman Killed on Cross Walk – Calgary, Alberta
32 year old woman Killed on Cross Walk – Orange County, Callifornia
Husband 78, Wife 76 Killed on Cross Walk – Boise, Idaho
Australia has a relative number of pedestrian collisions while the UK seems to be a much safer place to walk. Please see links at the bottom of this post.
Misery Meets Mayhem
One of my main arguments against stand alone crosswalks is that every human suffers from an unavoidable biological blind spot and if folks are indeed driving with impaired vision, should we slight shadow casters be walking brazenly out in front of them?
This whole business of enticing folks to step in front of roaring traffic was conceived of in London in 1868 but it didn’t take those already late drivers long to realize that most foot traffic folks seem to take their own sweet time crossing the road.
Within a few months of being installed, the controlled crossing device was removed and life reverted to the normal chaos crossing system with each hiker taking their own chances.
Good thinking, I say.
Today, crosswalks are ubiquitous and almost every user considers them to be heedless “vehicle free” zones which gives them the right to clamor through traffic almost at will.
It is this very concept of safety zone invincibility that is so deadly and many studies have proven this attitude of invulnerability to be a major concern:
PEDSAFE – Roughly two out of every three people hit by vehicles at signalized intersections in New York City are crossing with the light.
Residents Say Cross Walk Not Safe – Some folks in Wilmington, NC have a flashy, new crosswalk that doesn’t work.
State Plans To Remove Unsafe Cross Walk – Seattle removes a crosswalk after two girls are struck.
Safer For Pedestrian to cross at unmarked crosswalk 2007 Report to City of Halifax, Nova Scotia regarding pedestrian safety
Elderly Person Risk of Being Struck 3.6 times higher in marked crossing – State of Hawaii Elderly Persons Review
Eight Times More Pedestrian Accidents at Marked Intersections – City Of Twin Falls pedestrian safety research
While these stories are painful to acknowledge, much more suffering happens just outside the painted crosswalk lines.
Every day, hundreds of vehicle collisions occur as drivers are rear ended when they brake unexpectedly for unseen pedestrian activity. These accidents and the injuries they cause are not included in most studies analyzing crosswalk safety.
Take a Walk On The Wild Side
Here are my suggestions on how we can save a ton of unnecessary misery from humans and vehicles mixing it up in stand alone crosswalks:
1. Stop Using Them – cross roads only at controlled intersections where vehicles expect to encounter traffic. Teach everybody you care about to do the same. If you MUST cross a road between intersections, look both ways, wait for a lull and dash!
2. Encourage Your Enemies To Use Crosswalks – incite adversaries to ride ridiculous ridge as much as possible in order to reacquaint them with their maker ASAP. And knowing what we now know, we shouldn’t have to wait long… 😉
But really, when I consider that someone is getting smoked in a crosswalk every couple of minutes , I feel sick.
Please give yourself the chance Mrs Chau and her family will never get.
Walk to the corner and live.
Thank you, friend.
PS. Please follow these links to learn more about this subject.
You are 100% blind in one area of your eye. Bet you can’t tell where it is!
Very comprehensive 2008 report on US pedestrian safety – Pedestrian Safety Report To Congress
2008 UK Pedestrian Deaths report – Safer walkers in the UK as only 646 pedestrian deaths that yr
Australian Pedestrian Accidents Report 1990 – 1997
Plenty of effort went into early pedestrian crossings. See this Video
Incredible website for traffic signals and road signs of all kinds!
Please Note: The video below is computer generated animation and the clever author obviously knows this scenario is so possible that most folks will have little trouble believing it.