It is safe to say that most people understand the gravity of being involved in a car-pedestrian traffic collision, yet many people appear to expose themselves unnecessarily to the dangers associated with walking to close to the shoulder of an active roadway or crossing at busy intersection without carefully assessing the traffic situation. Compounding these everyday dangers is the fact that many pedestrians are also involved in using highly distracting smartphones and other electronic devices when walking on-foot near heavy vehicular traffic.
As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my colleagues understand the potential for serious injuries that can come with being caught up in a car, truck or motorcycle accident; that of bodily injuries ranging from minor cuts and bruises to critical, life-threatening injuries such as closed-head trauma, spinal cord damage, injury to internal organs and severe cardiopulmonary events. Any one of the latter problems would be cause for life-saving efforts by an emergency room medical team, all of which could have be avoided with a little extra caution on everyone’s part.
These kinds of fatal and near-fatal accidents should never be invited due to a simple loss of focus on a pedestrian’s part; however, nobody can control the actions of another person, such a car or commercial truck driver who crashes into another vehicle or bystander. Seeing that just standing too close to a busy city intersection is dangerous, consider the folly of stopping on the shoulder of a high-speed interstate with car and trucks passing just feet away at speeds upward of 55 to 65mph, maybe more.
This brings up the subject of a police officer who barely escaped death this past summer when he was grazed by a semi tractor-trailer while conducting a routine traffic stop along a portion of Interstate 70. One has to ask, if something like this can happen to a highway patrolman — with his patrol car’s emergency lights flashing to warn oncoming vehicles of his location — how easy would it be for an everyday driver to be struck and possibly killed by a car or truck speeding by?
If you haven’t seen the video of this near-fatal collision, we highly recommend that you watch it to understand the seriousness of this kind of accident and why we should all want to avoid similar circumstances ourselves. Unless a person has a major mechanical problem with their vehicle, which precludes their traveling any father, it would be a good idea to think twice when pulling off to the side of a busy expressway or state route for any kind of roadside problem short of an all out emergency.
As Baltimore personal injury attorneys, we understand the numerous dangers that lurk on Maryland roadways. Inattentive drivers can be as bad, or worse, than drunken drivers, so one must always be on the alert for potentially serious situations that could result in a bad automobile, truck or motorcycle crash. That crash involving the Maryland State Police officer happened last June in Washington County, MD, and illustrated quite clearly the need for motorists to obey the state’s “move over” law.
Based on news reports, Trooper David Avila’ was on routine patrol on June 14 when an 18-wheel big rig drove much too close to the officer and his patrol car, striking the trooper enough to injure him, but fortunately not fatally. According to the news article, the patrolman was able to get farther away, collapsing in pain and shock near the guardrail by the shoulder of the expressway.
As a result of the crash, officer Avila required physical therapy for the injuries he received to his back, legs and shoulder. In fact, the officer also was said to be suffering, at least at the time of the news article from what doctors described as “post-concussive syndrome,” which made his eyes sensitive to light and which also affected his ability to balance.
For those who ever find themselves in a situation that they feel requires a stop at the side of a busy roadway, we can only suggest that one think about the possible consequences of being hit by a car or truck and weigh the pros and cons of such an event. For everyone else, motorists in particular, please remember that our traffic laws are created to protect everyone. Drive safely and get home in one piece.
DASH CAM VIDEO: Trooper’s Traffic Stop Ends in Horrific Accident, Your4State.com, September 5, 2012