There are many reasons to be concerned about pedestrian safety.
Many roadways lack sidewalks, clear street crossings, or adequate lighting. Drivers have more ways than ever to be distracted, as they use their smartphones to send texts or scroll through Facebook. Even low-speed collisions can result in death or serious injury for pedestrians.
Are pedestrian deaths on the rise?
Recently, a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association showed an overall increase in pedestrian fatalities across the US, when comparing the first six months of 2015 to the same period in 2016. One positive bit of news is that DC and Maryland didn’t follow this trend; in fact, they both showed a decrease in fatalities. (Virginia, on the other hand, experienced a jump in the number of deaths.)
However, this one report doesn’t give us an excuse to become complacent about pedestrian safety. A recent article from the Capital Gazette points out that in Maryland, 111 pedestrians died in 2016 – a little over a fifth of all traffic accident deaths in the state. Pedestrians still remain vulnerable during collisions; even if they survive, they often face injuries that require hospitalization, extensive outpatient care, and rehabilitation.
It’s also important to remember that even though pedestrians generally bear the brunt of injuries in a vehicular collision, they may still be found at fault – at least in part – for an accident. For example, if a pedestrian were to run out onto the road suddenly or behave in other dangerous or distracted ways, they may find it harder to obtain compensation for their injuries and the associated costs, including medical bills, missed work, and any changes they need to make in their lives to accommodate permanent injuries.
Pedestrian deaths are unfortunately still an ever-present problem – and pedestrian safety more generally still has a lot of room for improvement. Both drivers and pedestrians can take steps to reduce the chances of an accident, including paying attention to their surroundings and behaving with additional caution when the roadways themselves aren’t safe – whether due to poor visibility, a lack of sidewalks, or similar issues.
In the aftermath of a collision involving a pedestrian, please contact us. We can be reached at 844-Take-MyCase or through site, www.844TakeMyCase.com. Feel free to also follow us on Facebook, as we share important legal and public safety news on our Facebook account.
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