3D street art has played a major role in art communities all over the world in recent years, and now many cities across the world are utilizing 3D paint to improve traffic safety. From China to Iceland, pedestrian crosswalks have been turned into intricate works of art that look like above-ground barriers to approaching drivers.
These designs look dangerous to a vehicle’s undercarriage, which inherently causes drivers to slow down. But these elaborate, eye-catching crosswalk designs will currently not be approved within the United States. A St. Louis neighborhood is a prime example of how an American city deemed 3D-painted crosswalks a safety hazard.
The Federal Highway Administration’s stance isn’t supported by any significant research, and the following is an excerpt from the agency’s reasoning:
In deviating from previous Official Rulings on the matter that concluded an increased factor of safety and decreased number of pedestrian deaths were not evident after installation (of crosswalk art), this 2011 Official Ruling stated that the use of crosswalk art is actually contrary to the goal of increased safety and most likely could be a contributing factor to a false sense of security for both motorists and pedestrians.
The FHWA does exhibit a decent amount of certainty with their ruling, but the truth of the matter is that the lack of empirical evidence in terms of crosswalk art reducing (or not increasing) pedestrian safety doesn’t support this firm position.
At Greathouse Trial Law, we are committed to supporting pedestrian safety as much as possible because we’ve seen just how devastating pedestrian injuries can be. There’s no doubt about it that our current pedestrian safety measures aren’t doing enough, so we are firm believers that creative, 3D-painted crosswalks that have had positive impacts on local traffic speeds in other countries could also make a difference in terms of increasing vehicle and pedestrian safety at intersections in the United States.
Increasing Traffic Fatalities
The FHWA’s certain stance on 3D-painted crosswalks would have some validity to it if there were statistics showing an increase in pedestrian safety throughout the U.S., but American streets and crosswalks have only become more dangerous in recent years.
The Governors Highway Safety Association released a report stating how pedestrian fatalities have increased by nearly 50 PERCENT since 2009! Distracted driving and smartphones, in general, have been leading factors to this increasing number of traffic accidents.
In 2016, over 100 people were killed in vehicular accidents every day, which was the first time in over a decade that the U.S. experienced this high of a fatality rate. It’s no coincidence that the increasing number of pedestrian and vehicle-related accidents are trending at the same rate as the increase of smartphone ownership, so the time has definitely come for the U.S. to address distracted driving more seriously through whatever necessary measures.
Pedestrian Fatality Increases
The Department of Transportation confirmed in 2017 that more pedestrians have been killed by vehicles in any year since 1994, and within the past couple years this number hasn’t faltered.
There’s no denying that the past 10 years or so have been a historically dangerous decade for American pedestrians, and the worst part about this is that the FWHA is utilizing ancient studies from nearly 40 years ago to ultimately oppose 3D-painted crosswalks.
Can 3D-Painted Illusions Help?
When it comes down to it, the goal of visual crosswalks isn’t to alarm drivers who may be speeding to come to screeching stops, but it is meant to get drivers out of their routine lack of attention and take what, or who may be ahead of them at a crosswalk more seriously.
3D-painted crosswalks are meant to help motorists remain alert while behind the wheel in highly trafficked areas, which is, of course, a positive measure that all safety administrations should be supporting. The defense that these illusions would be a hazard is absolutely ridiculous, because if a specific driver isn’t capable of responding to these illusions within an appropriate time then they more than likely shouldn’t be driving at all.
Contact Greathouse Today
Distracted and negligent drivers everywhere are only continuing to present a serious danger to other motorists and pedestrians, and our traditional safety messaging and signage isn’t making the difference it used to.
If you or a loved one were injured by a speeding driver in the Atlanta Metro Area, contact Greathouse Trial Law, LLC for a free, confidential consultation. We are more than confident in our abilities to effectively present your case during any kind of settlement negotiations, and our experience handling pedestrian personal injury cases speaks for itself.
Feel free to also call us at (678) 647-7299 or email us at contact@AtlTrialLaw.com for more information.