Can 3D Crosswalks Prevent Pedestrian Accidents? Kansas Attorneys Discuss

Pedestrian accidents happen far too often throughout the state of Kansas, especially in large cities such as Wichita. Unlike drivers in cars, pedestrians don’t have vehicle frames, airbags, and seatbelts protecting them. Injuries sustained in these accidents are often serious and potentially even fatal. 

Pedestrians are often struck by distracted drivers, speeders, reckless drivers or drunk drivers. Many crosswalk markings in the road are ignored and even faded. That’s why one Kansas community has devised a new and creative way to improve the safety of pedestrians. 

Kansas’s first 3D crosswalk

City crews in Kansas City, Kansas recently installed a 3D crosswalk that appear to be floating, according to While the painted crosswalk might look pleasing, it may also serve another purpose –  improving pedestrian safety.  

City Traffic Engineer Lideana Laboy says, “We’ve been working with this neighborhood about improving safety because there are a lot of kids that play around here, and they want to keep the speed low.” The optical illusion design was inspired by a similar design in Iceland

The purpose, according to Laboy, is to “bring the attention to the driver that this is a crossing location, and for pedestrians, we want them to know this is where you should cross the street to be safe.” 

The 3D crosswalk was installed at the intersection of Augusta and Northridge Drive in Kansas City’s west end, which has a 30-mph speed limit. One resident says the speed limit isn’t enough, particularly because blind curves and hills can make it difficult for drivers to see what’s ahead of them. Additionally, a school at the top of the hill may be difficult for drivers to see, putting children at risk of being struck. 

Plans to install more 3D crosswalks will depend on input from residents. 

Injured in a pedestrian accident, contact our law firm 

We applaud the work of city crews in KCK and hope that this creative solution will be an inspiration for other communities to take steps to protect pedestrians. That being said, while 3D crosswalks may increase drivers’ awareness of pedestrians, accidents may still occur. Some drivers may fail to see the 3D design due to distraction, intoxication or falling asleep at the wheel. 

If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident in Kansas, you need a strong legal advocate on your side. The attorneys at Bretz & Young have seen the devastation a pedestrian accident can cause to victims and their families. We are dedicated to holding negligent drivers accountable and helping injury victims seek the justice they deserve. We also have the case results to prove it. Contact us today to find out how we can help you. 

Back to School Safety for Kansas Pedestrians and Bicyclists

As the new school year begins, AAA and the Kansas injury law team at Bretz & Young are urging drivers to please watch for pedestrians and bicyclists while driving through school zones.

Each year, some 55 million children across the U.S. return to school. Among them, 13 percent walk or ride bicycles. It’s imperative for drivers to be especially watchful for pedestrians before and after school.

Before and After School Hours the Most Hazardous

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the afternoon is especially perilous for pedestrians and bicyclists – with a quarter of all pedestrian deaths occurring between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Motorists must be particularly vigilant at this time, bearing in mind that children and parents are on new routes and a new schedule as they are getting in and out of cars and school buses. Moreover, there are going to be a lot of inexperienced teenage drivers on the road during these hours, which creates additional safety concerns.

Drivers have an important role to play in keeping kids safe on their way to and from school.

According to AAA, as detailed by, drivers’ responsibilities include:

  • Slowing down. School zones have reduced speed limits for a reason. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is two-thirds less likely to die in that collision than one hit by someone traveling 35 mph.
  • Being prepared to stop. Studies have shown that 1 in 3 motorists rolls through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods. It is very important that you come to a complete stop because not only is it the law, you need to be able to check for children in the crosswalk before you head through.
  • Paying attention. Taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds can double your risk of a crash.
  • Backing up carefully. Just like every other vehicle, yours has blind spots. This is especially true where kids are involved because they may not be tall enough for you to see on sidewalks or while passing your driveway.

If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident while in a school zone, it is important that you speak to an experienced attorney who can help you with your claim. Bretz & Young Injury Lawyers will fight to hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions. Contact us today and find out how we can help you.

Winter Risks Bring Uncertainty for Drivers and Pedestrians in Wichita

Uncertainty abounds when it comes to the winter weather forecast in Kansas. The Wichita Eagle reports prognosticators can’t agree on whether we should expect a mild winter or above-average snowfall. Ice and snow also bring plenty of uncertainty when it comes to the risk of winter accidents in Wichita. Just recently, KAKE News reported that icy conditions on Interstate 70 caused a fatal Kansas crash when a pickup truck, occupied by a woman, her two daughters and a friend, slid off an icy bridge. All four tragically died.

Likewise, pedestrians who have to negotiate icy, snow-covered parking lots and sidewalks are left to question who is responsible for injury in the event of a fall. In most situations, the property owners are responsible for keeping walkways clear and safe during the winter months.

Power outages are also common in the winter, and they can impact red lights, street lights and other traffic-control and safety devices. Damage to structures, trees and other vegetation can cause road hazards, including downed power lines. Ice and snow can even accumulate on roofs – particularly large box stores – with enough weight to result in cave-ins.

Black ice can increase the risk of injury for motorists and pedestrians navigating sidewalks, parking lots, roadways and bridges.

Dangerous winter storms have grown more common in recent years

The National Weather Service reports all but one of the five worst ice storms in Kansas history have occurred in the last 20 years, including the December 2007 storm that impacted virtually the entire state. In 2005, an ice storm resulted in disaster declarations in 56 counties.

Kansas law does little to protect pedestrians or motorists from harm caused specifically by failure to remove snow or ice. However, that does not mean responsible parties cannot be held accountable by other laws when recklessness is involved or a duty of care can be identified.

The Kansas Department of Transportation is responsible for clearing and salting the state’s 10,000 miles of road. But motorists must also do their part to reduce the risk of winter-related accidents, and must use special care in parking lots, at intersections and in other high-risk locations.

The Kansas Highway Patrol provides the following safe-driving tips:

  • Prepare your vehicle. The winter months are not the time to be dealing with mechanical issues resulting from neglect of routine maintenance. Have your car serviced and make sure the battery, tires and fluid levels are ready for the increased demand of winter travel.
  • Allow extra time for delays and slower travel.
  • Increase your following distance.
  • Make slow turns.
  • Take the time to thoroughly clear your windshield of ice and show.
  • Learn proper steering and braking techniques to counter a skid. Gently steering into the skid and smoothly applying the brakes is generally the best way to recover from a near accident.
  • Always give pedestrians the right of way, whether at a crosswalk or in a parking lot.
  • Consider packing an emergency kit in your car in case you get stranded. Many safety advocates advise that staying with your vehicle until a storm threat has passed is generally your safest course of action.

Determining cause of an injury caused by an accident and identifying at-fault parties requires an experienced Wichita auto accident law firm. Motorists and others with a duty of care may be held responsible for resulting injuries. However, documenting conditions and seeking timely qualified legal advice are essential in such cases as the evidence may literally melt away.

The Dangers of Being Hit While Standing Outside Vehicle

Early morning car accident involving 4 cars places 2 people in critical condition

Motorists are required by Kansas law to stop and exchange information after an accident, and rightly so. However, as a recent accident in our area showed, doing so can put you in danger of further injuries.

Early in the morning of October 6th this year, as News Channel 4 reports, a large and complex car accident resulted in multiple serious injuries. It started ordinarily enough when a truck was rear-ended by a car. The two drivers, Robert Joseph and Nicholas Hitchcock, left their vehicles and stood off to the side of the road to exchange insurance information.

While they were outside their vehicles, a third vehicle crashed into the car, which then propelled the truck across the road. The truck then collided with a fourth vehicle travelling in the oncoming lane. Joseph and Hitchcock were both seriously injured and taken to the local hospital in critical condition. Two others were also injured.

Staying conscious of safety in the event of an accident.

If you are involved in a car accident, take these steps to prevent further accidents:

  1. Call the police right away. The investigating officer will put his or her lights on at the scene and divert traffic to keep you and the other people involved in the accident safe. Cooperate with the officer’s instructions in order to maintain safety at the scene.
  2. If possible, turn on your hazard lights. Even if your car isn’t drivable, your lights will most likely still work. Turn those lights on to show other motorists that there is a disabled vehicle.
  3. If possible, remove your car from the road. Once you have taken pictures of the collision and notified the police of the accident, you and the other driver should move your cars off of the road as much as possible, especially if they are blocking traffic. If your cars cannot be moved, make sure you inform the police so that they can immediately begin diverting traffic.
  4. When you and the other driver exchange information, do so away from the edge of the road. This is especially crucial if you are on a busy roadway. You want to put as much distance as possible between yourself and other cars driving by in the event that one of those cars collides with your car.

Car accident cases can be difficult enough to resolve when they only involve two people. The more people and vehicles are involved in an accident, the more complicated it can become. It may be harder to find fault in a case that involves so many different factors, especially if it’s difficult for those involved to figure out the chain of events. Multiple insurance companies may be involved, and liability for the injuries sustained may be hotly contested.

The dedicated car accident attorneys at Bretz & Young know how to ask tough questions and get the information our clients need to successfully resolve their cases. We investigate every aspect of an accident. We interview witnesses. We review police reports, medical records and anything else that can build a case for our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact us today.

Hutchinson Pedestrians Face Accident Risks With Hybrid Cars

Hybrid and electric cars are designed to help save the planet by reducing reliance on fossil fuels, but they may be costing pedestrians their lives. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney knows walkers routinely rely not just on their eyes to tell when cars are coming but also on their ears. Hybrid and electric cars do not have the same engine noises as typical motor vehicles with gas powered engines and this is creating a significant risk for pedestrians.

While walkers should ensure they are looking carefully before crossing the road and not simply going across if they don’t hear engine noise, drivers of electric and hybrid cars need also to be aware that pedestrians may not see their vehicles. In some cases, artificial engine noises are actually being added to electric and hybrid cars to reduce pedestrian accident risks caused by these nearly-silent vehicles.

Hybrid and Electric Cars Endanger Pedestrians

Daily Mail reports pedestrians are 40 percent more likely to be run over by a hybrid car or electric car than a vehicle with a gas or diesel engine. This is becoming a big problem as motorists increasingly purchase electric vehicles. From 2012 to 2013, there was a 54 percent increase in the number of pedestrian/vehicle collisions involving hybrid cars.

Motorists recognize the cars present an added danger, especially to pedestrians who are blind or who have limited sight. More than 3/4 of respondents to a YouGov poll said quiet hybrid and electric cars make the roads less safe for the visually impaired. A similar number of respondents said silent vehicles also made roads more dangerous to children and seniors. These vehicles are likely to surprise people who are travelling on foot and expect to hear engine noise before a car comes upon them.

Hybrid vehicle manufacturers are working on artificial sound generators so pedestrians can hear vehicles coming. Typically, these systems involve attaching speakers to the hood of the vehicle. The speakers point in the direction the vehicle is moving, so there is minimal annoyance to those around the car. The speakers use different types of sounds, from a rumbling sound similar to a traditional engine to the sound of an old computerized motor to a squeaking sound.

European Union regulations will require noise generators be installed in quiet cars; however, the mandate does not require noisemakers to be installed in new vehicles until 2021. Safety advocates for the visually impaired warn there will be thousands more dangerous green cars on the road before this time, and more people will lose their lives because of the delay in imposing the requirement. A campaign has been initiated to require governments to impose a requirement sooner and to mandate the systems not only be included in vehicles but also be prevented from being turned off.

Car manufacturers may choose to fit their vehicles with noise-making devices even though there is no current requirement, as this can help to save pedestrian lives.