Pedestrian Fatalities on the Rise in Massachusetts
Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise across the United States. The Governors Highway Association expects a 10 percent rise throughout the U.S., which is the highest increase noted since records have been kept on pedestrian fatalities since 1975.
There are several potential reasons for rising pedestrian fatalities, including increased automobile traffic (more cars on the road); an increase in pedestrian traffic for health, economic, or environmental reasons; and higher rates of distracted driving due to more frequent use of technology. Similarly, the use of technology may also be contributing to a decline in pedestrian awareness. Texting, apps, and other high-tech distractions can draw people’s attention away from the road at crucial moments, such as crossing an intersection.
According to the state of Massachusetts, pedestrians accounted for 21 percent of all motor vehicle-related fatalities in 2014. The data also indicates that the months of December and November have the highest rates of pedestrian fatalities in Massachusetts and that adults 25 years and older are most at risk. However, even though there are more adult fatalities in the state, pedestrian fatalities were the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children between the ages of 5 and 18 from 2008 to 2013.
The majority of deaths happened after daylight hours and when pedestrians did not utilize crosswalks and/or ran into the road. According to WalkBoston (a pedestrian advocacy group), in January of 2016 alone, eleven people were killed when crossing the street, and at least four of those accidents happened at a crosswalk. Speeding and distracted driving are often contributing factors in collisions involving pedestrian fatalities such as the ones already noted in Massachusetts this year.
Stay Safe: Tips for Pedestrians
Here are some tips to help protect you and your family:
- Use crosswalks or walk only at intersections with “walk” signals.
- Obey crossing signals.
- Walk and jog against the traffic to ensure that you are able to see other motorists and that they are able to see you.
- Use extreme caution when walking after daylight hours: Walk at well-lit intersections, wear bright or reflective clothing, and be extra vigilant when crossing because cars may not see you, even if you do have the right of way.
- Distracted walking is just as dangerous as distracted driving. Put the phone away.
The Law Office of George Malliaros: Helping Injured Pedestrian Victims
Even though pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks and intersections with a walk signal in the state of Massachusetts, car collisions with pedestrians still happen. At the Law Office of George Malliaros, our practice focuses on personal injury law, and we are here to help if you or your loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident. We are just a phone call away at (800) 856-4449 and our qualified staff will help you take your next step toward getting the justice and compensation you deserve.
Alarming rise in Massachusetts pedestrian deaths in 1st month of 2016. (2016, February 2). WalkBoston. Retrieved from http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/456000/e631a48c1a/TEST/TEST/
Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. (2016). Pedestrian safety. Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved from http://www.mass.gov/eopss/crime-prev-personal-sfty/traffic-safety/ped-bic-mot-safety/pedestrian-safety.html
Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. (2016). Pedestrian safety fact sheet. Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved from http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/community-health/primarycare-healthaccess/school-health/publications/safety-factsheet/pedestrian-safety-fact-sheet.html
Pedestrian fatalities projected to spike 10% in 2015. (2016, March 8). Governors Highway Safety Association. Retrieved from http://ghsa.org/html/media/pressreleases/2016/20160308peds.html