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Do alternate routes increase the risk of pedestrian accidents?

Although the pace of life on Hawaii’s beaches may be leisurely, local traffic can be an entirely different matter. Some drivers have turned to traffic apps on their smartphones to avoid congestion. However, a recent article questioned whether that technology might pose an unintended safety risk to pedestrians.

According to the deputy director for Honolulu’s Transportation Services, traffic apps have helped some commuters successfully navigate the daily changes in traffic flow. For example, a clog on the freeway might be avoided by taking side streets around the obstacle. Yet local residents worry about this practice.

Specifically, residents near the University of Hawaii claim that commuters routinely exit the freeway and use a stretch of their residential, two-lane road to go around a congested freeway entrance. Drivers can reenter the freeway at a point farther down. However, drivers may not be safely reducing their speed to a point appropriate for a residential street. In fact, one resident no longer allows her children to play on the sidewalks, for fear that commuters traveling at fast speeds might bring tragedy.

Honolulu is a busy urban area, with a vibrant mix of pedestrians, bicyclists, scooters, motorcycles, cars, trucks and other motor vehicles. Regardless of the mode of transportation, each individual has a duty of care to abide by applicable traffic laws and follow commonly observed rules of safe driving. If that duty is breached and a driver’s negligence causes injury to others, make sure you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to seek appropriate financial compensation and damages.

Source: KITV, “Who do traffic dodging apps help & hurt?” Paul Drewes, March 27, 2017

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