Whether you walk for pleasure or out of necessity, walking is a great alternative to conventional transportation methods. As a pedestrian, you likely get more exercise than the average person in Maryland does, and you have a greater opportunity to simply enjoy the act of being outside. However, this healthy habit could also be putting you in harm's way.
Pedestrian deaths are on an upward trend. Despite some attempts to make roadways safer for people on foot, it does not look as though the number of fatalities will go down any time soon.
Road design is problematic
Walking in urban and suburban areas is more dangerous than in rural areas. If you live near an arterial road designed to direct traffic onto interstates, than you probably already know this. Even when these roads are built alongside residential areas, they are rarely designed with pedestrians in mind, forcing people on foot to take dangerous measures just to cross to the other side.
Many experts advocate for pedestrian-activated beacons. These are designated crosswalks that are not installed at regular intersections. When a person pushes the button to cross the road, overhead traffic lights flash yellow and then turn red, signaling traffic to stop while the pedestrian safely crosses. Studies have demonstrated that these methods reduce accidents.
SUVs are deadlier than cars
You may have noticed that number of SUVs on the road rose dramatically over recent years. These vehicles are popular, but deadly. While cars strike pedestrians far more frequently than SUVs, the latter is more likely to kill the victim.
Fatalities from SUV-pedestrian collisions shot up 81 percent between 2009 and 2016. Pedestrian deaths in general rose at historic rates over this same period of time. If you are between the ages of 20 and 69, you may want to exercise extra caution, as this age group experienced the highest increase in fatalities.
Your injuries are no joke
If you were involved in a pedestrian accident and survived, you are probably dealing with some fairly severe injuries. Head trauma, back injuries and skin lesions are all unfortunately common with these types of accidents, and the recovery time can be lengthy and expensive.
Like other pedestrian victims in Maryland, you probably need help addressing the financial side of your injuries. Even if you have health care insurance, it likely will not cover everything and you will still need to figure out what to do about those lost wages from when you missed work. A personal injury claim is usually an effective course of action against negligent drivers that, if successful, can provide the necessary financial compensation you deserve.