SAFETY TIPS TO AVOID PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS IN BOSTON
In busy cities like Boston, motor vehicle accidents that result in injured pedestrians are an unfortunate and common reality. In the most devastating cases, a pedestrian is killed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 72 pedestrians in Massachusetts were killed in 2012, which accounts for 20.6 percent of all traffic deaths that year.
That number has continued to increase over the years, with 78 total fatalities in 2018. An estimated half of the pedestrians injured, or worse, from pedestrian accidents, are seniors.
Driver Negligence and Pedestrian Injuries
Driver negligence is a leading factor in many accidents involving pedestrians. According to the NHTSA study, nearly one-fifth of all pedestrian deaths nationwide in 2012 were hit-and-run incidents. Furthermore, 14 percent of all drivers involved in a fatal pedestrian crash had a blood alcohol concentration over .08 percent.
Massachusetts traffic laws require drivers to yield to pedestrians who have the right-of-way, and motorists must also yield to pedestrians in the event traffic lights are not functioning properly.
Pedestrians can increase their chances of staying safe on the road by following a few essential “street smart” tips:
Know the Rules of the Road
Pedestrians do not always have the right-of-way. Obey traffic rules and pay attention to traffic lights and crosswalk signs. Cross intersections in designated areas; drivers are more likely to notice pedestrians who use crosswalks rather than those who cross in areas not marked for pedestrian use. It is also important to know what roads you are allowed to use as a pedestrian.
Stick to Sidewalks and Paths
If possible, walk on sidewalks and paths rather than walking on the road. If you must walk on the road, however, be vigilant about your surroundings. The law in Massachusetts states that you are to walk against traffic. Try to look motorists in the eye so they are aware of your presence. Stay off of expressways and areas where pedestrians are prohibited from entering.
Drivers are not accustomed to look for pedestrians in the middle of the road. Always use crosswalks when crossing busy roads, even if it means walking further. If there aren’t any lights, then always cross at stop signs or red lights, ensuring that the driver will come to a stop for you.
Just as you shouldn’t drive distracted, you also should not walk distracted. Avoid listening to music or texting while walking along busy roads or around congested traffic areas. Distractions as a pedestrian can be just as dangerous as distractions as a driver. It can also be helpful to ensure that you are seen. Wear light colors or reflectors if you are walking at night.
While it may be tempting to cross the road where you are or to catch up on social media while you are walking, this can be dangerous. Be aware of your surroundings and stay safe.
Document Your Case If Injured
If you are ever injured in a pedestrian accident, it is important to document your case. This means reporting the accident and receiving medical care. It also means collecting copies of your medical records. If your injuries are severe, then you might also decide to talk with a pedestrian accident lawyer to consider your legal options.
Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawyers
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident caused by a driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call the personal injury attorneys at Joel H. Schwartz. P.C. today at (617) 742-1170 to discuss your case.
This website has been prepared by Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.