Maryland roadways and street intersections can be treacherous for pedestrians of any age. According to the Maryland State Highway Administration, there were 112 pedestrian accident deaths in 2008 accounting for 20 percent of all traffic fatalities in Maryland. About 70 percent of those deaths were the result of pedestrian error and 40 percent involved pedestrians who were alcohol-impaired. A large number of pedestrian accidents are caused by negligent or inattentive motorists. But there are steps pedestrians can take to ensure their safety and prevent a tragic collision.
First of all, pedestrians would be well advised to always obey traffic control devices. Only cross at crosswalks and intersections and never step into the roadway without first looking both ways for traffic. Pedestrians have the right of way when crossing at intersections without signals, but it is not safe to assume that drivers will yield the right of way. Even pedestrians who are crossing with a green light need to look out for drivers who may not be paying attention to the roadway or slowing down for pedestrians. That is why it is best to make eye contact with drivers and make sure they see you before stepping off the curb.
Parents can help prevent pedestrian accidents by serving as role models to their children. Whenever you are walking with your child, show him or her how you stop and look both ways. It can also prove helpful to carefully map out safe routes to school that utilize safe sidewalks with well-painted crosswalks. Get your child to walk with friends as well because larger groups are more visible to motorists.
If you are ever involved in a Maryland pedestrian accident, make sure you remain at the crash site and notify the authorities right away. Injured pedestrians in Maryland have the right to pursue financial compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering by filing a personal injury claim. An experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer will be able to uphold victims’ rights and work to ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.