Few traffic-related accidents are as potentially life-threatening as those involving a pedestrian and a motor vehicle. Whether the scenario puts a Baltimore youngster riding a bicycle directly in the path of a passenger car or mail delivery vehicle, or if it takes the shape of a business man crossing a busy Washington, D.C., intersection and being clipped by a taxi cab or courier van, the results can be devastating.
For lack of a better description, car-versus-pedestrian collisions can impart serious injuries to a human body, some of which may be fatal. It’s doesn’t take a physics major to know that a 150-pound flesh-and-blood person is no match for two-tons of rolling steel. Even those “slow-motion” collisions between cars and people in local parking lots can be extremely deadly. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, our office is prepared to help those individuals who have been hurt or seriously injured as a pedestrian in a car accident or commercial vehicle crash.
Here in Maryland, 102 of the nearly 500 traffic-related fatalities in 2011 involved a person on foot, and this figure does not even count the hundreds of other victims who survived, but may have suffered, or continue to suffer, severe medical complications as a result.
A number of factors can contribute to an auto-pedestrian injury accident, such as drivers exceeding the local speed limit, motorists who ignore pedestrian crossing warning signs, and those driver who are simply too distracted by talking on a cellphone or texting a friend to recognize a pedestrian before it is too late. Many traffic flow engineers and urban planners have started to redesign and update intersections and other pedestrian routes near heavily trafficked areas. The progress is sometimes slow due to funding issues, so injuries may continue in until improvements are made.
Nonetheless, pedestrians can help themselves in order to reduce their risk of being hit by car, truck or motorcycle. Experts in the field recommend those on foot to be especially watchful at intersections, which is where many accidents occur when a driver who is attempting a turn may fail to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian in the crosswalk. Carrying a lit flashlight in the evening and wearing bright or highly reflective clothing is also a good idea.
But keep in mind that accidents can and do happen when one least expects it. Take, for example, a couple incidents that happened a while back in Charles and Baltimore counties. The first incident took place along a stretch of U.S. 301 in Bel Alton when a local man tried to cross the roadway in a non-crossing area and was fatally hit by an oncoming car; while a second crash happened in Woodlawn, MD, when a driver lost control of her car and crashed into the front of a day care center.
According to the Maryland State Police, accident in Charles County took place around 1:30 in the afternoon and involved a 52-year-old man who was killed by an oncoming passenger car as he was apparently crossing the road illegally. News reports indicated that the victim’s his left leg was severed below the knee and the man’s body ended up in the vehicle’s passenger compartment. The driver of the vehicle received only minor injuries, based on police reports, and was taken to Civista Medical Center in La Plata for treatment before being released.
In a the second incident, a woman reportedly avoided an accident with another vehicle, but ended up crashing into the front of a vacant daycare center on Dogwood Road in Woodlawn. The crash, which took place on a Saturday, involved a four-door Mercury sedan that was traveling east along a stretch of Dogwood Rd. Police reported that the woman in the sedan “swerved” to avoid becoming involved in a traffic accident on the roadway, but in the process ended up driving through an adjacent parking lot and into the early learning and daycare facility.
Fortunately, no children were in the building at the time of the collision. At the time of the news article, the reported stated that the Baltimore County police were continuing to investigate the accident. No information was provided about the health of the driver or whether drugs or alcohol may have contributed to either the first accident or the second collision between the car and the building.
Pedestrian Killed in U.S. 301 Accident, TheBayNet.com, September 26, 2012
MD car sought in Glasgow pedestrian hit-and-run that injures two Del. women, CecilDaily.com, September 25, 2012