Avoiding Pedestrian Auto AccidentsDecember 10, 2012
Defensive driving generally refers to watching out for other drivers on the road. But drivers should also be alert to reckless or distracted pedestrians, especially when driving through Baltimore and some suburban areas. In 2011, Maryland’s State Highway Administration compiled data that showed 703 pedestrians were injured after being struck by a car in the city. Nine were killed. And while the number of U.S. pedestrian-auto accidents is decreasing, pedestrian fatalities in some Maryland suburban counties are on the increase.
The majority of these accidents — 70 percent — turn out to be the fault of the pedestrian, not the driver. Recent accident reports reveal the following:
- Two-thirds of the pedestrians who were struck were intoxicated
- Walking while using a hand-held device or ear-buds is often a factor
- 75 percent of these accidents occur at night
The Baltimore Metropolitan Council is addressing the problem through their “Street Smart” campaign, which sends teams of volunteers to particularly dangerous Baltimore intersections to give drivers and walkers safety tips. Both populations — drivers and pedestrians — need to be more aware and less distracted.
Drivers should yield to pedestrians in cross-walks, and pedestrians should make use of them instead of illegally crossing streets elsewhere and follow the walk/do not walk signals at traffic lights. Drivers should be especially vigilant for anyone crossing the street when making left-hand turns. Distracted walking turns out to be just as dangerous as distracted driving. And while it is a terrible idea to get into your car after a night out at a bar, walking under the influence, especially at night, is also risky business. If you as a pedestrian have been injured in a car accident or you have gotten into a car accident due to a pedestrian, contact the Maryland accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. immediately.