On average Maryland sees a little over 100 fatal pedestrian and bicycle accidents each year. This compares with the national traffic-related death rate of 4,300 (based on data from 2010). As Baltimore personal injury attorneys, we have seen estimates for the nationwide cost of these accidents to society in the billions of dollars. Just here in our state, some experts suggest that over a 10-year period, from 2000 to 2009, the economic impact to our state for those pedestrians who were killed (1,057 in total) has been more than $4 billion.
Obviously, reducing pedestrian-automobile traffic fatalities would result in a great savings to everyone, not the least of which would be the families who would be spared the grief and emotional torment of losing a soon, daughter, husband or wife to a senseless roadway accident. For reference, the website Transportation for America ranks Maryland the 15th most dangerous state for pedestrians, giving us a 76.4 on its index of overall Pedestrian Danger.
It’s doesn’t take a statistician to understand how pedestrian and bicycle-related traffic collisions happen. For most people, it’s a basic fact that these kinds of accidents occur most frequently in metropolitan areas where people on foot are in close proximity to other vehicle traffic. Certainly, more densely populated urban areas will see a greater number of pedestrian accidents — involving car and commercial vehicle collisions — than that of more rural areas.
As a matter of fact, the National Safety Council has estimated that here in the United States more than 80 percent of all non-fatal pedestrian injury accidents happen in urban areas, while less than 20 percent take place in rural areas. When it comes to actual deaths, almost three-quarters of fatal pedestrian collisions happen in metropolitan areas. Interestingly, while urban areas may have a lower frequency of pedestrian accidents than urban areas, the rate of ratio of fatalities to incidents is higher than accidents in the cities most likely because of the lack of sidewalks and the higher speeds of passing vehicles.
Every week we see on the television or read in the paper of another Maryland resident injured or killed by in a traffic collision. Whether it happens in Bowie, Gaithersburg or the District; as a result of a passenger car, taxi cab or commercial delivery truck, the numbers just keep adding up year after year. It seems that the only remedy is continual awareness on the part of everyone; motorists and those on foot as well.
A couple fatal accidents from a while back caught our attention. The first took place in the Annapolis when an 18-year-old Severn woman was struck and killed while crossing Solomons Island Rd. at West St. Based on the news articles at the time, the victim was trying to cross the street but as she ran infront of two cars coming northbound in the travel lanes she was hit by one. Police said that it was raining heavily at the time and that the victim was wearing dark clothing. Another apparent factor in the collision was the fact that the woman did not use a marked crosswalk.
In a second incident, a 33-year old man was hit by an SUV at the intersection of Rte 50 and Rowe Blvd. According to the Maryland State Police, the crash occurred just a day after the previously-discussed fatal incident on Maryland’s Rte 2. Not much was said about the second collision except that the accident happened a short time before 8pm and involved a Range Rover.
Yet Another Pedestrian Dies In Annapolis Accident, EyeOnAnnapolis.net, December 9, 2012
Severn Woman Killed After Being Struck By Vehicle In Annapolis, EyeOnAnnapolis.net, December 8, 2012