All streets are dangerous for pedestrians. They are simply no match for a car that speeds through a stop light or a stop sign. Many pedestrian accidents in the Nashville area are deadly. Those who survive often suffer catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, broken bones, and loss of limb.
In most pedestrian accident cases, the driver of the vehicle is held liable because they violated a state traffic law, drove recklessly, or drove carelessly. Some accidents can happen because of dangerous road design. State and local counties have a duty to regularly investigate reports of deadly accidents and take corrective measures, such as installing traffic signals, lowering speed limits, improving traffic signs, and making changes to the roads or intersections.
In one tragic case reported in The Tennessean, a 57-year-old tourist from Italy who had just seen the band Blondie at the Grand Ole Opry was killed while walking back in the dark to his hotel near the Nashville International Airport. He had just posted on Facebook how dangerous the route was as he walked along the shoulder of McGavock Pike, which didn’t have any sidewalks. Earlier in the day, he had posted about the difficulties of getting around Nashville as a pedestrian. Tragically, Matteo Barattieri was found dead from a hit-and-run accident the next day.
Every death is personal to the family members and those who loved them. The Tennessean interviewed Franco Gengotti, who knew Barattieri. Gengotti said he and Barattieri were working on a documentary about “nature, music, fashion, and everything unique about Nashville. They even discussed the film the day Barattieri was killed.”
Nashville’s most dangerous intersections
Per The Tennessean, so far this year, 28 pedestrians have died on Nashville’s streets. While Nashville claims to be working to improve the roads for walkers and bicycle riders, the improvements weren’t enough to save those lives.
These 28 pedestrian fatalities are already higher than the average 22 Nashville pedestrian deaths that occur yearly, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Further, Nashville is already ranked as the fourth-worst city for bicycles in the country.
Some of the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians according to The Tennessean are:
- Dickerson Pike. Four deaths since February 23, 2021; two in 2022.
- Gallatin Pike. Four deaths since August 15, 2021; three in 2022.
- Harding Place. One death on May 13, 2022.
- Lafayette Street and Main Street. No deaths were identified for 2021 or 2022.
- Murfreesboro Pike. Eight deaths since March 2, 2021; two in 2022. A 38-year-old Uber driver was also struck and killed on Interstate 24 near Murfreesboro Pike in June 2021.
- Nolensville Pike. Four deaths since January 11, 2021.; two in 2022.
- Old Hickory Boulevard. Two deaths since April 1, 2021; one in 2022.
- Rosa L. Parks Boulevard. While there were no deaths for 2021 or 2022 on this street, there were two pedestrian fatalities on nearby Interstate 65; one in 2022.
- West Trinity Lane. One death on December 6, 2021.
Just a small percentage of Nashville streets are involved in over half of the pedestrian deaths and serious injuries in Nashville, according to the city’s newly funded Vision Zero Action Plan. Most of these deadly streets are in impoverished locations. Some of the common conditions that make walking around Nashville dangerous include poor lighting or lighting that is non-existent, crosswalks that are dangerously placed, and a lack of sidewalks.
The Vision Zero Action Plan, announced in January 2022, has been approved by the Metro Council. Walk Bike Nashville advocates for the following changes to be implemented immediately:
- Better lighting
- Repainting crosswalks
- More places for pedestrians to cross streets
- More time for traffic signal changes
Many of Nashville pedestrian accidents happen near high-frequency transit stops and in locations where residents don’t own many vehicles.
The Nashville Department of Transportation director said her agency is working to “implement quick build” solutions as part of Vision Zero’s five-year plan. As an example, they will be installing “15 yellow signs with flashing lights that signal pedestrians’ crossings.” The Metro Nashville Police Department said it is increasing its law enforcement efforts including educating “drivers about how much space to give cyclists and pedestrians or when to yield the right-of-way.”
Why do pedestrian accidents in Nashville happen?
Other causes of pedestrian accidents, in addition to dangerous roads, include drunk driving, driver distraction (such as texting while driving or talking on a cellphone while driving), driver fatigue, speeding, not yielding the right of way to a pedestrian, visibility problems at night, and other issues of negligence.
We file personal injury claims when pedestrians suffer any type of catastrophic or serious injury. When a loved one tragically dies in a Nashville pedestrian accident, we file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the family members to compensate the family for their financial losses, personal losses, and personal grief.
Pedestrian accidents in Nashville are often devastating. Many pedestrians don’t survive. Survivors often life with a lifetime of pain. At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, we understand the unique issues involved with pedestrian accident cases, such as verifying the severity of your injuries, fighting for the dignity of your loved one, and holding the liable drivers and others responsible. Please call or fill out our contact form today to schedule a free consultation. We represent clients in Nashville, Murfreesboro, Hendersonville, and Clarksville.
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