Pedestrians hit by motor vehicles often sustain serious or even fatal injuries because they do not have any protection. According to a new report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the number of pedestrian-related fatalities unfortunately continues to rise despite efforts to improve safety.
In 2018, 6,227 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes, an increase of four percent from 2017, and the largest annual number of pedestrian fatalities the U.S. has seen in nearly three decades. There was also a 35 percent increase in pedestrian deaths over a ten-year span, from 2008 to 2017.
Maryland has been ranked the fourteenth deadliest state for pedestrians based on number of fatalities for 2018. There were 60 pedestrian deaths between January and July of 2018 in this state. Maryland’s pedestrian fatality rate was also 1.00 per 100,000 people.
If your loved one has sustained a fatal injury from a pedestrian-related accident, it is vital to contact a skilled Silver Spring car accident lawyer at Goldberg Finnegan to assist with your claim. We can discuss your legal options during a free consultation and help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Latest Report on Pedestrian Fatalities
The latest report is based on preliminary data from all 50 states, including the District of Columbia, comparing pedestrian traffic fatalities between the first six months of 2018 to the same period in 2017.
In Maryland, there were 60 pedestrian fatalities in the first six months of 2018 compared to 48 in the first six months of 2017. This means that an additional 12 pedestrians were killed by motorists, a 25 percent increase from the previous year.
Factors Responsible for the Rise in Pedestrian Deaths
The GHSA report uncovered several factors that have contributed to the rise in pedestrian deaths. These include the following:
- Population increases across the country – With more drivers and pedestrians on the road, the risk for accidents increases significantly. There are more pedestrian fatalities in highly congested states.
- Nighttime driving – Driving at night has contributed to more pedestrian deaths because visibility is much more limited.
- Light trucks – A shift from passenger vehicles to light trucks in recent years means there have been more SUV-related pedestrian deaths – a 50 percent increase since 2013.
- Smartphone use – The growth of smartphone use within the last decade has been a significant source of distraction for both drivers and pedestrians.
- Alcohol impairment – More than 30 percent of pedestrians killed by motor vehicles in 2017 were killed in accidents caused by someone with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher, which means these drivers were breaking the law by being behind the wheel.
According to 2017 accident statistics, There were 45 pedestrians were hit in Silver Spring in 2017, including 25 who were seriously injured and one person who died.
How Maryland is Promoting Pedestrian Safety
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration is promoting pedestrian safety with the Look Up. Look Out. campaign geared towards reminding pedestrians and drivers to stay alert and follow the rules of the road and traffic laws.
For pedestrians, this includes:
- Using sidewalks and crosswalks whenever possible
- Using the pedestrian signal button and then waiting for the walk sign before walking
- Remaining stopped at the curb, looking left, then right, then left again before crossing any street
- Always remaining cautious and watching out for cars that turn before moving
- Sticking to light or bright colors for clothing, especially in the dark
- Always paying attention around traffic, taking off headphones and refraining from texting
For drivers, this includes:
- Always remaining alert for pedestrians crossing, day and night
- Slowing down and being prepared to stop for pedestrians
- Obeying the posted speed limits at all times
- Following traffic signs, signals and markings
- Not running red lights or stop signs
- Keeping your eyes on the road and not driving while distracted
Contact Goldberg Finnegan for Help With Your Claim
If you have been injured in a pedestrian-related accident, you should seek help from the experienced legal team at Goldberg Finnegan. We can help you pursue the compensation you need. Our attorneys have helped recover millions in compensation on behalf of our clients, including a settlement offer for a girl who broke her arm after being hit by a car while crossing the street in a crosswalk.
Contact us today for a free case review. We can determine if you have a valid claim and the legal options available to you. There are no upfront costs for our services unless you win your case.