It seems that almost every day we read about someone being hit by car or run over by a commercial delivery truck. Whether it’s here in the Baltimore area, over in Bowie or Columbia, or down in the District, traffic accidents involving bicycles or persons on foot happen with alarming frequency. And not surprisingly, it would seem, since on average a pedestrian is injured every eight minutes across the U.S.
And, as Maryland injury lawyers, we know that the majority of pedestrian and bicycle accidents happen in urban areas where car and people tend to mix, sometimes with tragic results. The National Safety Council has stated that in the U.S. more than 80 percent of all non-fatal pedestrian injury accidents happen in urban areas. As such, large metro areas like Baltimore City and the District of Columbia see more than their fair share of pedestrian-related injuries and deaths, while rural locations are less likely to have such a high incidence of collisions, though the fatality rate is actually greater due to higher speeds on rural roads.
Here in Maryland, the average number of traffic fatalities involving pedestrians is about 100 deaths a year. The overwhelming majority of these are people on foot, although a small fraction of that number is represented by bicycle riders. Obviously, reducing the incidence of pedestrian-automobile collisions would in turn reduce the pedestrian death rate, as well as the number of families who have to bury loved ones each year as a result of a car or trucking related collision.
Whatever improvements to pedestrian safety do take place in the future, a reduction in traffic-related deaths will probably not eliminate completely these sad and senseless events. We will unfortunately still see incidents like the one in Harford County last fall, where a woman was severely hurt after being clipped by a truck along Central Ave. in Edgewater, MD.
According to news reports, the crash happened just before 6:30 on a Wednesday evening as a 51-year-old local resident was apparently attempting run across the street as an oncoming Ford pickup truck was approaching in the right-hand lane. Based on the police report, it appears that the truck’s sideview mirror struck the woman in the head and then throwing her to the pavement. The force of the impact was sufficient to knock the right-hand mirror off the vehicle, according to the news article.
Police and other first responders who arrived on the scene a short time later found the woman in critical condition. The driver reportedly stopped his truck and waited for police and other emergency personnel to arrive on the scene. Officers in charge of the investigation reportedly stated that the initial evaluation pointed to pedestrian error as the primary cause of the collision. Authorities also indicated that neither alcohol nor speed was a factor in the crash.
Once EMS crews had arrived they transported the victim to University of Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore where doctors could treat her injuries. At the time of the news article, the woman was listed in critical condition at the hospital.
Truck’s Side Mirror Strikes Pedestrian on Central Avenue, Patch.com, November 29, 2012