The Law Office of Matthew E. Bennett

A Maryland Law Firm Based in Silver Spring And Serving Surrounding Communities

Pedestrian accidents and some ways to avoid them

Maryland saw a yearly average of 105 fatal pedestrian accidents over a recent five-year period. According to data from the Maryland Highway Safety Office, nearly half of the reported fatal pedestrian crashes included alcohol impairment. About one-third of them involved an intoxicated pedestrian. 

The statistics show that walking at night in urban areas brought the highest risk of a pedestrian accident. The greatest number of fatalities involving pedestrians occurred in areas with no intersections or crosswalks. 

An awareness of traffic rules may help increase safety

Maryland’s driving laws require motorists to stop for pedestrians in a marked crosswalk. The law, however, also requires pedestrians to yield to vehicles when crossing the street outside of a crosswalk, as noted by the Baltimore Sun / Carroll County Times. 

Drivers generally do not pay attention to sidewalks, and may not see pedestrians waiting in between parked cars to cross the street. Individuals traveling on foot in Maryland risk an accident and a ticket if they cross the street away from a designated intersection. 

Mobile devices cause distractions for both drivers and pedestrians

An increase in the use of mobile devices has resulted in catastrophic injuries for both motorists and pedestrians. Talking, texting or taking pictures while driving takes an individual’s attention away from the road. Motorists who remain focused on their driving stand a much greater chance of avoiding serious accidents caused by distractions. 

Pedestrians using mobile devices while walking may find themselves tripping over debris or failing to notice an approaching vehicle when stepping onto a street away from a crosswalk. Turning off a device may reduce the temptation to answer a call and start chatting. It may also avoid becoming involved in an accident.