You may take sidewalks in California for granted unless, of course, you are walking in an area without them. It may seem obvious to you that sidewalks are a good thing. However, many people may not realize just how beneficial they can be. The reality is that they can save lives.

This may not be something you have ever thought about, but the benefits of sidewalks are quite serious. When an area lacks a sidewalk, it increases the chances that there may be a pedestrian accident. Here are three ways that sidewalks can save lives, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

  1. Sidewalks increase comfort

Pedestrians feel more comfortable when there is a space to walk separate from the roadway. This encourages more walking, which in turn can help to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. When there is less traffic, it naturally leads to fewer accidents.

  1. More drainage is available when sidewalks are present

Sidewalks allow for roadways to have more drainage. This reduces the chances of standing water on the roads, along with helping to reduce congestion due to flooded roadways. A quick downpour can cause chaos on a roadway without proper drainage.

  1. Roadways without sidewalks have more accidents

When sidewalks are present, it can reduce the number of pedestrian accidents because it gives you a dedicated walkway. Drivers can pay attention to the road and not have to worry about pedestrians except at crosswalks. This is better for everyone and produces a safer environment for walking. There are statistics that show just having sidewalks can reduce the number of sideswipe and head-on crashes.

Sidewalks are not just something wonderful if you are walking. They also are helpful if you are driving. You may not have thought of them this way before, but it is the truth. In fact, just having a sidewalk in an area can reduce pedestrian crashes by up to 71%. That is nothing to sneeze at.