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Center islands reduce pedestrian deaths

When a pedestrian in Minnesota is struck by a fast-moving vehicle, the chances of the person surviving the accident are slim. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration says that over 80 percent of pedestrians that are hit by vehicles going at least 40 mph are killed. When cars are only traveling 20 mph or less, pedestrians that are hit survive more than 90 percent of the time.

The number of fatal pedestrian accidents may be significantly reduced in areas where pedestrian crossing islands are installed. Pedestrian crossing islands, also called center islands or refuge islands, are raised areas between two opposing lanes of traffic where crossing pedestrians can seek refuge. Center islands may be built at intersections or other locations where pedestrians are likely to walk across busy streets.

The Federal Highway Administration says that pedestrian crossing islands lower the number of pedestrian accidents in areas by 46 percent. Because center islands provide a barrier between vehicle traffic lanes, they have also been found to reduce motor vehicle accidents by as much as 39 percent. Pedestrians enjoy more visibility when using center islands, and car drivers tend to lower their speed when approaching center islands.

Auto-pedestrian accidents can be very serious, and they can cause long-term injuries for the pedestrians who are involved. A person who has been struck by a car while crossing the street or walking on the sidewalk might want to talk to a lawyer about filing a personal injury complaint. Through a personal injury claim, a pedestrian accident victim may be able to pursue monetary compensation for medical expenses, property damage and lost wages.

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