The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

Pedestrian accidents in NOVA driving many into worry, anger

How do we define the future of a community that has failed time and time again to protect its youth? Fairfax County has seen a rise in traffic and pedestrian accidents during the past few months, especially in high school aged teens. Society preaches the importance of careful driving and road safety to their teens, but the root of the problem lies in public policy and ensuring that the roads are structurally safe. There is only so much that can be done through discussion; Fairfax needs to take direct action. 

Road issues are not a new thing in Fairfax. Thousands of people have been calling for road improvements which have been left unresolved for years, only recently being brought to light following utter public outcry. This allows for the questioning of the county’s priorities, where road improvements should undoubtedly be moved up their list. 

According to information from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, statewide, there were 171 pedestrian deaths in 2022. In 2022, the Fairfax region had the most pedestrians killed out of Virginia’s six DMVs, which was 56, compared to the 37 who were killed in 2021. Within the Fairfax region, Fairfax County had the most pedestrian deaths, 32. In 2021, it was 14. The number for 2022 is the most pedestrian deaths in a single year in Fairfax County since at least 2010. This massive increase is detailed in a preliminary statistics report that the Virginia DMV released on January 19.

Acting DMV commissioner Linda Ford said in a statement on that date, “We hope drivers will be motivated to make a change and put a stop to the behaviors that we know contribute to these devastating crashes.”

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One of the most pressing road improvements that need to be done are to Lee Chapel Road, which has left 3 people dead and caused around 200 other accidents over the past 10 years, according to the Virginia DMV. The issue with changing the terrain of a road, especially one in the midst of hills and curves, is that it is costly and requires a large time commitment. Another one of the most danger-prone areas of Fairfax County for pedestrians is Bailey’s Crossroads, which many call unsafe because of its lack of sidewalks, crosswalks, poor lighting and signs, and the high speed traffic that frequents the area. A rally was even held early 2022 by residents to call on Fairfax County to address these issues

The root causes of these staggering numbers, which amount to a pedestrian safety crisis, is poor infrastructure and roads designed for vehicle speed instead of safety, summed up perfectly by Governors Highway Safety Association Executive Director, Jonathan Adkins.

Yet still, more short term solutions are present. These tackle dangerous driving behaviors and are applicable on any road. Drivers are more than capable of taking the time to watch extra carefully for pedestrians, using seat belts, driving under the speed limit, and making sure to never be distracted or impaired in any way. Pedestrians can try their best to wear bright colors, use sidewalks if possible, and obey traffic signals, however at the end of the day, they are at the mercy of drivers.

It is the responsibility of every driver on the road to watch for pedestrians. Drive with the same level of precaution you would wish from drivers if you were a pedestrian yourself.

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About the Contributors
Shane Gomez
Shane Gomez, Co-Editor in Chief

Senior Shane Gomez is the Co-Editor in Chief of the A-Blast. He was Editorials Editor as a sophomore and junior and a Staff Writer as a freshman. He is pursuing the IB Diploma and he can be found frequenting clubs and organizations such as AWC, AYSO, ABC, AA, CFAC, HSC, SHF, MUN, NHS, NEHS, NSSHS, SNHS, VWA, and YMG. He likes to thrift, hangout, and watch movies. He looks forward to graduating.

Christina Abouzeki
Christina Abouzeki, Co-International Editor
Senior Christina Abouzeki is in her second year of journalism as a Co-International Editor. She loves reading, listening to music, and traveling. She plays on the varsity volleyball team and the violin in the philharmonic orchestra. Outside of school, she also likes to spend time with her friends and family.

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