The Brown & Crouppen Legal Lens takes a closer look at everyday legal issues and gives you a better understanding of topics that may affect you.

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis-based nonprofit Trailnet has released a report detailing the locations of accidents in St. Louis City and County. In this week’s Legal Lens, Andrea McNairy, managing attorney at Brown & Crouppen, discusses what makes an intersection safe or unsafe for pedestrians.

“This is a hot topic because a report was released that (shows) seven roads in St. Louis City where 45% of all fatal crashes that involve pedestrians happen and four roads in St. Louis County where 50% of pedestrian accidents happen,” she said. “So, some very dangerous statistics in the city and county in regards to safety.”

But what makes a safe intersection?

“A lot of studies have concluded that if there is a pedestrian head start, meaning that if somebody hits a button, there is a head start for them to finish or start walking,” McNairy said. “That it increases safety. Crosswalks, of course. Protected left turns, specifically with green arrows. Raised crossings and intersections and bike lanes are all things that contribute to making an intersection safer.”

How can pedestrians stay safe or be safer?

“You want to make sure that if you are at an intersection that doesn’t have these protections and safety then, in addition to be aware and looking, make sure you stay visible, make sure you are crossing at a corner, and always avoid texting or using your phone while crossing the street,” McNairy said.