Letter: Drivers and pedestrian errors cause wrecks on Main Street

Published 6:07 pm Friday, November 22, 2019

From Jerry Leber, Danville —


With regard to the traffic safety issues on Main Street, engineering can only do so much. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 90% of all traffic accidents are “due to driver-human error.” NHTSA also reports that 50-55% of all traffic accidents are due to “driver inattention.” If there is a significant area for reducing traffic accidents, it lies in reducing/preventing driver/human error. Yet I hear no request or suggestions about improving driver/pedestrian behavior.

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Not knowing any of the specifics regarding any of the driver/pedestrian accidents on Main Street, I would speculate they were all due to driver error, pedestrian error, or both. I would also speculate that none of these accidents were due mainly to faulty engineering or environmental factors, knowing that these do play a part. The intersections certainly need to be engineered to be as safe as possible for drivers and pedestrians.

Regardless of the engineering changes that are made or not made, the primary responsibility for preventing accidents at these intersections still remain with drivers and pedestrians. The only way to ensure no more driver-pedestrian accidents is to close the intersections to all traffic. Obviously this is not a practical solution. No amount of engineering changes will insure that there will be no more driver/pedestrian accidents. As long as drivers and pedestrians continue to use the same space, collisions will occur.

The greatest opportunity for preventing these collisions happens only when drivers and pedestrians become more attentive and develop a greater awareness of the entire traffic environment.